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Milos Raonic advances to SAP Open semi-finals

Milos Raonic, of Canada, returns a shot to Tobias Kamke, of Germany, in the SAP Open tennis tournament in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Paul Sakuma/AP

Milos Raonic is one step closer to defending his SAP Open title.

The 21-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., advanced to the semi-finals with a 7-5, 7-6 (3) win over South Africa's Kevin Anderson on Friday.

The match featured two heavy hitters. Raonic had 16 aces in the match, while Anderson had 14.

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Down 5-4 in the first set, Raonic drew level by winning the 10th game with a 207 km/h ace.

He broke Anderson in the next game when Anderson hit the net to end a 13-shot rally for game point. One game later, Raonic took the set with a 220 km/h ace.

Both players held serve throughout the second set, which needed a tiebreaker to decide. Raonic raced out to an early 6-1 lead, then finished off the tiebreaker with a 196 km/h serve that Anderson couldn't return.

Raonic will face Ryan Harrison of the United States in Saturday's semi-final. Harrison, looking for his first win on the ATP Tour advanced with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Bulgaria's Dimitar Kutrovsky.

Andy Roddick's return from injury lasted all of two matches, losing to Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-4.

Hobbled by a fresh right ankle sprain and a troublesome hamstring that forced his retirement from last month's Australian Open, Roddick lost every point in his first service game and never regained his rhythm. He slammed one racket, broke another, sailed a ball into the stands in frustration, argued with the chair umpire and even shouted at his own box.

Istomin will face the winner of Friday's late quarter-final between Julien Benneteau of France and Belgium's Steve Darcis.

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