MELBOURNE, Australia — Milos Raonic played through pain after an apparent thigh injury as he missed his bid Friday to become the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam final.
The 25-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., spent more than four hours battling Andy Murray before the second-seeded Scot produced a 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 victory to move into Sunday's Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic.
The problems for Raonic began as he led Murray two sets to one and up 2-1 in the fourth set when he needed treatment off court for his leg.
When he returned his big-hitting game faded and errors mounted as the clock moved towards midnight at the Rod Laver Arena.
Raonic had been hoping to join Eugenie Bouchard in the rarefied air of Canadians who reached a Grand Slam final — Bouchard did it at Wimbledon in 2014.
First loss of 2016
Raonic has now played and lost two Grand Slam semifinals after going out to Roger Federer at Wimbledon two years ago.
The loss was Raonic's first in 2016 after winning the Brisbane title — the eighth title of his career.
The Canadian was able to use his massive serve to good effect throughout the match, firing 23 aces. His unforced error count over four hours hit 78, countered by 72 winners and just one break of Murray's serve.
Raonic uncharacteristically smashed his racket after going down a break in the fifth set.
Murray finished on his first match point to reach his ninth Grand Slam final of his career.
Canadian Daniel Nestor is set to play in the men's doubles final on Saturday with Czech partner Radek Stepanek.