MELBOURNE, Jan 23 : For the first time in his career, 24-year-old Frenchman Lucas Pouille has reached the semifinal stage of a Grand Slam tournament, overcoming hard-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-7 (7-2), 6-4 at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
With the odds stacked up against Pouille, the 16th seeded Raonic had won all three of their previous matches without dropping a set and leading into the contest many wondered if the Frenchman would be able to deal with the power of the Canadian's serve.
Throughout the tournament Raonic had won 94 percent of his service games, smashing 107 aces and only facing five breakpoints.
"I knew it was going to be a really tough match," Pouille said after the contest. "I returned great and kept my serve nearly all the match. I didn't put too much pressure on myself and just enjoyed the moment."
Despite never getting out of the first round in his past five appearances at the Australian Open, the world number 31 now finds himself just one match away from the tournament final.
"We kept working hard," he said. "It has been a matter of going step by step and to give all that I have in every point and here we are, so I'm just really happy."
Pouille will now face six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. (UNI-XINHUA)