Milos Raonic was taken to three sets for the first time this week but held on to advance into his third career Masters 1000 final with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Belgian David Goffin in the BNP Paribas Open semifinals on Saturday.
Raonic was broken twice in the second set as No. 15-seeded Goffin forced the decider. He lost serve at love to go down 3-1 before immediately breaking back to even the score, but was broken again at 4-3 and this time Goffin consolidated to serve out the set.
But Raonic quickly recovered and stole the momentum back, as he broke fellow 25-year-old Goffin to go up 2-0 and maintained control from then on. With 11 aces and an 82 per cent win percentage on the first serve, he secured the triumph in two hours.
Seeded No. 12 and currently ranked world No. 14, Raonic will now compete in his third career Masters 1000 final, where his record currently sits at 0-2. He fell to Rafael Nadal in the 2013 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank final and to Novak Djokovic in the 2014 Paris Masters championship match.
He will take on defending champion Djokovic again in Sunday’s final at Indian Wells, scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on TSN2. Raonic has faced the world No. 1 five times before but has never beaten him.