Friday, March 16, 2018 - Milos Raonic plays Sam Querrey in the Quarterfinal of the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open)
There was plenty on the line for Sam Querrey. A win on Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open would have sent the 30-year-old American into the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal of his career. It also would have propelled him into the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
But it wasn’t to be.
The 18th seed couldn’t hold off 32nd-seeded Canadian Milos Ranoic, who advanced to the final four in Indian Wells for the third straight time via a one-hour, 50-minute, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win.
The loss will surely sting for Querrey, who was dominant through the first nine games of the match. With a break in hand and serving for the opening set at 5-4, he couldn’t close, netting a backhand volley at 30-40. The Goran Ivanisevic-coached Raonic would reel off three straight games to take the set.
Querrey, making his 13th straight tournament appearance, managed to level the match at a set apiece, only to fall behind again in the third. Serving at 3-4, 30-40, he could only watch as his 6-foot-5 opponent hammered a forehand return winner for the break. In all, the Canadian would convert 3-of-9 break points, to go along with 17 aces.
Said Raonic of the up-and-down match, which saw him fight off a pair of break points serving for the match at 5-3, “I’m not very good with rollercoasters, but I prefer them on the tennis court rather than the real ones. I’m very happy with the way I was able to put it together today.”
It was an important win for Raonic, who has fallen from a career-high No. 3 to No. 38 in the rankings after struggling with a right leg injury through much of 2017. He missed five Masters 1000 events last year, in addition to sitting out the US Open.
“Every match is important,” said the 27-year-old, a runner-up at Wimbledon in 2016. “That’s one thing I miss playing — matches. The more opportunities I have to come back out on the court the happier I am.”
Raonic will have another opportunity on Saturday in the semifinals, where he’ll face the winner of Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber.