David Goffin defeated Marin Cilic 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 on Thursday to reach his first career Masters 1000 semi-final with the victory at Indian Wells.
Goffin, the Belgian 15th seed, was the first between the pair to advance this far in the elite ATP series.
The Belgian will play 12th seed Milos Raonic after the Canadian defeated Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-3 to reach his sixth semi-final at the Masters level.
Raonic is playing his first event since the Australian Open after mending various injuries.
The 25-year-old has reached two Masters finals before but has lost them both.
He dominated Monfils in 90 minutes to advance. “I’ve got to be very happy with how I competed today. I dealt with the situation well and gave myself lot of opportunities.
“And I did what counted the most - I took care of my serve.”
2014 US Open winner Cilic became the second straight grand slam champion victim for Goffin, who put out French Open holder Stan Wawrinka in the previous round.
“I knew that my level was there,” Goffin said.
“I knew I had to stay focussed on what I had to do - to play in a big stadium against Marin, a player who I beat two weeks ago in Davis Cup. I was really confident, and I was focussed on my plan and not thinking about the semi-final.”
The win in just under an hour and three-quarters was the second for Goffin over Cilic, who wore a large strapping on his right knee but insisting it was more precautionary than therapeutic.
Gofin saved four set points in the 12th game of the opening set, taking it into a winning tiebreaker.
Cilic stands 12-8 in a so-so season, while Goffin improved to 12-4. Cilic had ended an 11-match losing streak against top 10 players as he beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the fourth round.
But the Croatian still stands at 0-8 in Masters 1000 quarter-finals.
“I knew that against Marin it’s gonna be a battle of serves,” Goffin said.
“I knew that on my serve I had to battle to win every service game, because sometimes he can serve bombs and in 10 seconds can win his games. I had to be focused on my service games. At the end I stayed focused in the tiebreak. It was the key of the match to win the first set and be more relaxed in the second to play much better.”
Now to see what happens next.
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