The 22-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev had to qualify for the main draw in Tokyo but that proved to be no obstacle for him, defeating a three-time finalist and the 6th seed Milos Raonic 7-6 6-3 in an hour and 15 minutes for the place in th semi-final, his third of the season. This was their first meeting and it was a high-quality match, with great serving on both sides and only one break point in the entire match that decided the winner of the second set.
Daniil had 13 winners and seven unforced errors while Milos fired 29 winners and 28 errors, being the more aggressive player out of two. That wasn't enough to give him at least a set, though, struggling on his second serve and winning just 11 points in 12 return games to stay away from deuces or break points on Medvedev's serve.
As was expected, nothing could separate them in the opening set and we saw 12 easy holds on both sides to reach the tie break where Medvedev moved 3-1 ahead after a huge forehand error from Milos. The Russian scored another mini-break to increase his lead and despite losing the next point on serve he gained a 6-2 advantage with a forehand winner after taming Raonic's serve nicely.
The Canadian sent a backhand wide in the 11th point to hand the set to his rival and the pressure was on him in set number two. There, Medvedev dropped just five points in five service games and he made crucial move in the sixth game when he won five points in a row on the return to break Milos and forge a 4-2 lead.
Raonic squandered a 40-0 lead and he suffered a break when Daniil passed him with a backhand to create the pivotal gap. A service winner pushed Medvedev 5-2 up and he closed the match after an amazing point in game nine for the place in the semis.