(Reuters) - Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic overcame a second-set wobble to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory over Belgian David Goffin in California on Saturday.
The 12th-seeded Raonic, bidding for his second ATP title of the year and his first ever Masters 1000 crown, will take on either defending champion Novak Djokovic or three-times Indian Wells winner Rafa Nadal in Sunday's final.
Top-seeded Serb Djokovic and Spanish left-hander Nadal, the fourth seed, were scheduled to play their semi-final at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden later on Saturday.
"I lost my way a little bit (in the second set), I got into his rhythm," Raonic told ESPN in a courtside interview after sealing victory in two hours to improve his record for the year to 14-1.
"But I really went for it in the third set and it came together. The most important thing for me was to stick to my identity and it was great to play here in my second (successive) semi-final and make the most of it."
The towering Raonic made an impressive start against the 15th-seeded Goffin, regularly firing down serves in excess of 130 mph (209 kph) and he broke the Belgian in the fourth game before taking the first set in just over half an hour.
Service breaks were traded in the fourth and fifth games of the second set before a faltering Raonic also failed to hold in the eighth, Goffin going 5-3 up after powering a backhand service return winner down the line.
The Belgian, who had ousted third seed Stan Wawrinka in the round of 16, served out to level at one-set all but went a break down in the second game of the deciding set after blasting a forehand long.
The remaining games went with serve and Raonic easily held to clinch victory in the ninth when a well-placed first serve wide to Goffin's forehand forced a wayward return from his opponent.
"It will be a great opportunity for myself tomorrow," Raonic said of his third appearance in an ATP Masters 1000 final. "You know, I'm here to try to make the most of these opportunities. I've worked hard for them and I'm trying to put it together."
Raonic is back on the ATP World Tour after a six-week break due to a torn thigh muscle and was unable to play in the Davis Cup earlier this month when Canada lost 5-0 to France.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both)