Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Lucas Pouille reaches Australian Open semis

Lucas Pouille reaches Australian Open semis
Lucas Pouille reaches Australian Open semis

Lucas Pouille reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time with a 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4 win over Milos Raonic.

Pouille entered the quarterfinal 0-3 against Raonic but targeted the big-serving Canadian's second serve and won points on 35 of the 62 he faced. Pouille also protected his serve, and was broken just once in the match.

He has been working for a couple of months with Amelie Mauresmo, who won two major titles as a player and had previously worked as Andy Murray's coach.

"She's the right state of mind. She knows everything about tennis. It's not about being a woman or a man. It doesn't matter," Pouille said in an on-court interview when asked about the rarity of a top-ranked male player working with a female coach. "You just have to know what you're doing - and she does."

Lucas will next play either Novak Djokovic, who made into the semis when Kei Nishikori when retired in the second set.

"I didn't win a match in Melbourne before coming here" this year, Pouille said. "Now I'm in the semifinals. So just very, very happy."

Pouille was up two sets and had break points in the seventh and ninth games of the third but Raonic held serve in clutch moments.

Raonic rallied late in the third, after getting angry when he challenged a line judge's call as Pouille was serving to stay in the set.

His service return hit the baseline but was called out. When he challenged it, and a replay confirmed his shot was good, chair umpire Nico Helwerth ordered a replay of the point.

Raonic thought he deserved to be given the point and, when he asked why it wasn't awarded to him, told the umpire "because you don't watch, because you're incapable."

Pouille won the replayed point and held serve for 6-6, but Raonic won the first six points of the tiebreaker and eventually forced a fourth set.

It was on serve until Pouille put serious pressure on Raonic's serve and volleys, and broke to clinch the match.

Article from AP Sports