(Reuters) - Milos Raonic won a battle of big servers to down local contender Bernard Tomic 7-6(5) 7-6(5) and reach the final of the Brisbane International on Saturday.
World number 14 Raonic will meet the winner of Roger Federer and rising Austrian Dominic Thiem, who clash in the late semi-final of the Australian Open warm-up.
"It was a great match today, a difficult one against Bernie. He's been playing so well, I know he's going to do great things this year," Raonic said in a courtside interview.
"I'm happy with the way how things are progressing.
"I'll watch some good tennis later."
Both Raonic and Tomic went unbroken throughout, but it was the Canadian who reigned in the tie-breaks, jumping out to early leads.
After trailing 5-0 in the decisive tiebreak, Tomic clawed back to 5-5, but Raonic whipped a forehand winner down the line to bring up match point.
He closed out the match in style, lunging for a cross-court backhand volley to end Tomic's solid run at the tournament, which included an upset win over world number eight Kei Nishikori.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)