Federer reaches Indian Wells final after Nadal's withdrawal | AP sports

Raonic ends lucky loser Kecmanovic's run

Raonic, Thiem to clash in semis; Bencic, Kerber face off for spot in final

The Austrian Dominic Thiem will contest the Indian Wells final after beating Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes.

"I think the conditions are good for me, especially when the sun's out", Raonic said of Indian Wells, where he has made at least the semifinals in his last four appearances. Ranked 130th in the world, the Serb lost in qualifying, but his fortune soon turned.

Serbian teenager Kecmanovic failed to convert any of his three break-point opportunities against a ruthless Raonic, who unleashed a torrent of punishing groundstrokes on a sunny and breezy day in Indian Wells.

He'll try to improve next against No. 7 Dominic Thiem, who advanced via walkover when No. 18 Gael Monfils announced on court that he couldn't play because of a left Achilles injury.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be vying to set up a blockbuster semifinal when the play in the other two quarterfinals on Friday.

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"And this morning, it was really tough for me to run at 100 per cent, and tonight I tried to hit a little bit and I can not compete 100 per cent tonight".

Federer, seeded fourth as he pursues a record sixth title in the California desert, will battle 25-year-old Austrian Thiem, who is seeking his first title in one of the ATP's prestigious Masters 1000 events.

While the 130th-ranked Kecmanovic fell short in his bid to become just the third lucky loser to reach the semifinals of a Masters 1000 event, he can regroup for the upcoming Miami Masters - where he has been given a wild card into the main draw.

Raonic has defeated Thiem in their two previous meetings, both of which came on hard courts in 2016. [Nadal] played so well this week, and I thought he was playing some of his best tennis again.

Thiem dispatched the No. 13 seed from Thornhill, Ont., 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 6-4 to advance to the championship game. I hope I can play aggressive tennis against him. "I'm not going to the court with any expectation".

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A return victor gave the Austrian a break point in the fourth game of the second set that Milos erased with an ace, hitting two more winners to bring the game home and level the score at 2-2.

On the women's side, Mari Osaka, sister of world No. 1 Naomi, will play her first WTA main draw singles match after receiving a wild card into the draw.

"He's playing very well, using the kick serve very effectively", Federer said after watching the final set of Thiem's semifinal win. In one of the pivotal shots of the entire clash, Milos sprayed a backhand slice mistake and Dominic sealed the deal with two winners after a deuce, moving into the final with an excellent volley for the flawless result after a reduced start of the season. The 38-year-old veteran did her best to catch Kerber out with crafty changes of pace, but the German was able to adjust.

Williams' right knee was taped and she did not appear to be moving easily or serving with much pace.

A win Sunday would far and away be Thiem's biggest victory over Federer and only his third title on hardcourts.

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"Physically, it was tough somehow, and the wind didn't help much", Pliskova said.

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