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Big-serving Milos Raonic of Canada, who is seeded-fourth in this ATP World Tour 250 Event, will face second-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain in a semi-final encounter of the 2012 Chennai Open on Saturday. Raonic, the recipient of ATP Newcomer Award for 2011, earned a comprehensive victory over Dudi Sela with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 scoreline in the quarterfinal on Friday. On the other hand, second seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain rallied past Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita with a 4-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 scoreline to come this far in the tournament.
Milos Raonic made an incredible progress in his rankings last year, as he jumped 131 places to achieve career-high ranking of World No. 25 – in the middle of the last season. In fact, the Canadian also earned three wins over Top 10 players in the last season – one over Mikhail Youzhny and two over Fernando Verdasco. He also won his maiden ATP World Tour title last year in San Jose.
Currently ranked as World No. 10, Nicolas Almagro is one of the most consistent players on tour – among the contemporary group of top players. The Spaniard is chasing his 11th title on tour. Last season, Almagro stamped his authority on Latin-American swing by winning three titles on clay in Nice, Buenos Aires and Costa Do Sauipe. Interestingly, all of his titles have come on clay so far and this is a great opportunity for this talented Spaniard to claim his maiden title on any other surface. This will be a first meeting between these two contenders and we can expect some thrilling tennis action.
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