Andy defeats Raonic to keep semi final hopes alive
Britain’s Andy Murray kept his ATP World Tour Finals hopes alive with a straight-sets win over Milos Raonic at the O2 Arena.
Murray would have been been eliminated with a defeat but came through a tense match 6-3 7-5.
Raonic appeared nervous throughout and his major strengths completely deserted him as he made 23 errors on the forehand side and just 38% of first serves in the opening set.
Murray was frustrated to miss out on two break points when presented with second serves in game four, but Raonic helped him out two games later with a double fault, a wayward smash and another missed forehand.
There was a slight wobble when he failed to convert two set points in game nine, but a good serve wrapped it up and another Raonic error gave the Briton an early break in the second.
It was never likely to be straightforward, however, and Raonic found a moment of magic with a forehand half-volley to earn a break-back point that Murray handed over with a loose backhand for 2-2.
Finally, the huge Raonic serve clicked into gear and he was able to put pressure on Murray, but the Scot came through two testing service games and made the decisive move at 5-5.
A superb running pass set the tone and with another break point on offer, Murray fired over a dipping backhand that caught out Raonic at the net.
The tension was clear to all when Murray’s first match point whistled by as a tame 77mph second serve was hammered past him, but Raonic’s 33rd error of the evening – confirmed by Hawkeye – brought an end to the contest.
A thrilled Murray leapt in celebration, punching the air, and he moves on to face Federer on Thursday evening with a chance to extend his season into the weekend.