Milos Raonic advances to semifinals at Japan Open
Milos Raonic of Canada shouts as he plays Lukas Lacko of Slovakia during the quarterfinal of the Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
Published Friday, October 4, 2013 7:18AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 4, 2013 5:42PM EDT
TOKYO -- Canada's Milos Raonic advanced to the semifinals of the Japan Open with his 40th victory of the season.
Raonic, seeded third, cruised past Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-3 in just over an hour Friday.
The 22-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., once again used a dominant serve to beat his opponent, with just 11 aces to only two for Lacko.
Raonic will next face Croatian Ivan Dodig, a winner over Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 7-6 (3). Dodig has won two of the pair's three matches, including a second-round victory over Raonic last June on grass at Eastbourne and a Barcelona win in 2011.
A win over Dodig - ranked no. 35 - would mark a return for Raonic to the Tokyo final where he lost a year ago to Kei Nishikori.
Raonic, ranked 11th in the world, is coming off a win at the Thailand Open on Sunday and improved his season record to 40-17. He's trying to earn one of the last spots in the World Tour Finals in London next month.
Against Lacko, Raonic never faced a break point from his 81st-ranked opponent. The loss to Raonic was Lacko's 14th straight against a top-20 opponent.
Raonic, who stands 5-0 in quarter-finals this year, has not lost a set this week. He took early control against Lacko with two breaks to earn the first set in 25 minutes.
He went up a quick break in the second for a 2-0 advantage, and later closed his match with a service winner.
If Raonic were to beat Dodig, he would enter the finals against either top-seeded Juan del Potro, 25, of Tandil, Argentina or sixth-seeded Nicolas Almagro, 28, of Murcia, Spain.