Raonic reaches Paris Masters final
Paris: Seventh-seeded Milos Raonic advanced to the final of the Paris Masters for the first time with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory over former champion Tomas Berdych on Saturday.
The Canadian, who produced one of the biggest wins of his career in the previous round by defeating Roger Federer, will face top-ranked Novak Djokovic or Kei Nishikori in the final.
After a tense fight between the two big servers, Raonic came out on top when Berdych, who won in Paris in 2005, lost his composure in the final game.
Serving to stay in the match, the fifth-seeded Czech made four consecutive unforced errors, including two double-faults, to hand his opponent the win. Berdych smashed his racket in anger before leaving the indoor court.
"I just totally messed it up with the last game," Berdych said. "It was definitely the worst game I ever played here on this tournament this year."
Until his final game meltdown, Berdych had played consistently, returning well to neutralize Raonic's booming serve and leveling the tie at one set apiece after securing an early break in the second set.
"You have days like this when things are going well and then, just at the last moment, everything is gone," Berdych said.
Although he did not come close to his 21 aces against Federer, Raonic added 12 to increase his tally since the beginning of the week to 75 aces.
The 23-year-old Raonic, who qualified for the ATP Finals for the first time with his victory over Federer, will be playing in his second Masters 1000 final after losing in Montreal to Rafael Nadal last year.
Raonic has been enjoying the best year of his career, winning his sixth career title in Washington and making it to the semifinals at Wimbledon.