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Tennis: Raonic, Pospisil set up All-Canadian semi-final

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Milos Raonic and wildcard Vasek Pospisil set up an all-Canadian semi-final at the Montreal Masters on Friday.

Pospisil, living the dream week of his career after winning a low-level Challenger event last weekend, had it easy in his quarter-final as Russian opponent Nikolay Davydenko retired with a respiratory ailment while trailing 3-0.

Pospisil had reached the quarter-finals with his first top-10 victory, a third-round defeat of Tomas Berdych.

The 71st-ranked Canadian now finds himself getting ready for the match of his life against his 11th-seeded compatriot after the vastly more experienced Raonic overcame Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-4.

The victory required nearly two and a half hours, with Raonic firing 10 aces.

Raonic and Pospisil are the first Canadians since Mike Belkin in 1969 to reach the final of the event.

Raonic, starting to thrive under the guidance of new coach Ivan Ljubicic, ran his record over Gulbis, conqueror of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray 24 hours earlier, to 4-0.

Pospisil is trying to keep a grip on his emotions.

"This is a huge week for me (ranking) points-wise. I'm going to make a really big jump regardless of how the match goes tomorrow.

"I'm just excited and hope to use the confidence I have to keep playing well.

"Top 50 was a life-long goal of mine, the goal that I set at the beginning of this year. Now I'm there already.

"So my goals are already changing. I'll try to reset them a little bit and try to keep moving up."

World number 13 Raonic has come out of a trough this week after failing to get past the third round during the past three months since starting to work with Ljubicic.

The world number 13 Canadian needed almost an hour to claim the opening set against Gulbis, taking the lead on a service winner clocked at 226 km/h.

The Latvian got back into the contest in the second set to level the match. In the third, Raonic maintained his poise and went up a break for 3-1 in a game in which Gulbis donated two double-faults.

Raonic gave the break straight back in the next game, and had to produce another break in the final game go through to the last four, his first semi-final since Barcelona in April and his first ever at a Masters 1000.

Later, top seed Novak Djokovic was facing Frenchman Richard Gasquet in a repeat of last year's final while Rafael Nadal was taking on Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130809/tennis-raonic-pospisil-set-all-canadian-semi-final