Sports

Raonic fires 34 aces in a narrow win over Nishikori to reach Brisbane International final

  • Milos Raonic of Canada prepares to serve in his semifinal match against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

    Milos Raonic of Canada prepares to serve in his semifinal match against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kei Nishikori of Japan serves in his semifinal match against Milos Raonic of Canada during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

    Kei Nishikori of Japan serves in his semifinal match against Milos Raonic of Canada during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)  (The Associated Press)

  • Milos Raonic of Canada plays a shot in his semifinal match against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

    Milos Raonic of Canada plays a shot in his semifinal match against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)  (The Associated Press)

Milos Raonic fired 34 aces to grind out a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) win over second-seeded Kei Nishikori on Saturday to reach the Brisbane International final.

The third-seeded Raonic appeared to grow in confidence as the match progressed, earning three match points with an ace in the third tiebreaker and then clinching it in 2-1/2 hours with a stunning forehand service return.

It was his second win in six head-to-heads with Nishikori, who beat him in five sets in the fourth round at the U.S. Open en route to the final and again in the final of the tournament in Tokyo last year.

Third-seeded Raonic will play the final against the winner of the later match between No. 1-seeded Roger Federer and No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov.