Del Potro, Raonic advance to semifinals at Indian Wells
By BETH HARRIS
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Wrist, hip, foot and leg injuries. Juan Martin del Potro and Milos Raonic have endured all of them in recent years. Now the surgically repaired veterans are into the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open.
Del Potro defeated No. 31 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Raonic beat 18th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 on Friday to reach the semis for the third straight year.
In the women's semis on Friday night, Venus Williams was to meet Daria Kasatkina of Russia and top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania faced Naomi Osaka of Japan.
Del Potro has twice won the ATP Tour's comeback player of the year award, having fought back from left wrist surgeries in 2014 and 2015 (twice) and another one on his right wrist in 2010. He was likely on a first-name basis at the Mayo Clinic, where he was operated on.
The sixth-seeded Argentine came close to quitting the sport.
"I couldn't fix the problem. I got depressed at home for a long while, and I wasn't happy doing the effort to (rehab) my wrist," he said. "But thanks God I'm here and healthy, and I'm playing tennis again. I'm in the top 10 again. I have too much love from the crowd, for my fans, and I'm doing this because I love it."
Raonic had right hip surgery in 2011, right foot surgery in 2015 and left wrist surgery last year. He also struggled with a right leg injury for much of last year, missing a stretch of tournaments including the U.S. Open. He's plunged from a career-high No. 3 to No. 38 in the rankings.
"It's been a catastrophe," he said, adding in a knee injury that kept him from playing for six weeks last November.
Raonic didn't resume training until just before the Australian Open in January, and then lost in the first round.
He's regained his form in his seventh appearance in Indian Wells, where he has a 19-6 career record.
"I just have a personal calm at this event maybe compared to others," he said. "It's a little bit quieter here. It's easier to be around the tennis. You don't have to fight through traffic to get here. You get here with ease."
Raonic survived an up-and-down match against Querrey, who controlled the first nine games. The American was up a break and serving for the first set at 5-4, but he missed a backhand volley and Raonic won three straight games to close out the set.
Querrey rallied to take the second set, but he fell behind in the third. Raonic had 17 aces in the match.
Del Potro and 32nd-seeded Raonic play each other on Saturday. The other semifinal is between top-ranked Roger Federer and Borna Coric of Croatia.
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Updated March 16, 2018