Milos Raonic advances to Paris Masters semis with close win over Ugo Humbert

Canada’s Milos Raonic advanced to the semifinals of the Paris Masters tennis tournament Friday with a nervy 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7) win over France’s Ugo Humbert.

Raonic, the 10th seed from Thornhill, Ont., once again used his big serve and the indoor hardcourt environment to his advantage, firing 25 aces and winning 75 per cent of service points.

Humbert carried a string of impressive results in Paris into the contest, including wins over French Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas and former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic. And the 22-year-old Frenchman gave Raonic all he could handle in a match that took over two hours 18 minutes to decide.

After each player comfortably won a set, Raonic fended off three break points to take the opening game of the third set. But Raonic was unable to press the early advantage, with Humbert saving two break points to tie the set 1-1.

Both players then held serve until the back-and-forth tiebreak. Raonic saved two match points before finally winning on his second match point chance.

Raonic, ranked 17th in the world, will have a chance to make his second appearance in Paris Masters final when he faces Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals. Medvedev, the world No. 5 from Russia defeated Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-1.

Medvedev is 2-0 against Raonic, with both victories coming at hardcourt events.

Raonic advanced to the Paris Masters final in 2014 before losing in straight sets to Serbian star Novak Djokivic.