Stanislas Wawrinka reached his first semifinals since winning the Australian Open after beating eighth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6 (5), 6-2 at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday.
The third-seeded Wawrinka reached the semis five years ago, losing to Novak Djokovic. He faces either eight-time champion Rafael Nadal or sixth-seeded David Ferrer.
"I know I am supposed to be among the favorites, but every time I play a match I am in the state of mind of a challenger who is trying to win an additional match," said Wawrinka, who went out in the third round of Masters events at Indian Wells and Key Biscayne.
He did not face a single break point and broke the Canadian twice in the second set.
"I was really focused on my serve to be really aggressive from the first shot, to make him move, to make him work every ball," Wawrinka said. "I just feel strong from the baseline. I feel good physically. I know that on clay courts, if I play my best tennis, I can beat those guys."
Raonic missed chances when he led 3-0 and 5-3 in the tiebreaker.
Djokovic, the defending champion, was in action against Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, while fourth-seeded Roger Federer was to play No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.