A smooth serve and volley ignited a near perfect breaker from the 28-year-old, who surged 5-0 in front courtesy of a sweetly-timed pick up volley. A Pouille backhand pinged wide and Raonic roared “lets go!” as he marched to the changeover.
“I'm still leading two sets to one, so I don't have to panic,” said Pouille, revealing his mindset at the time. “I really needed to stay positive, still doing what I did great for two hours 30 minutes.”
Locked on serve in the fourth set until 5-4, Pouille sensed his chance to break new ground at the majors.
The 24-year-old applied the pressure with inspired play, and having seen a Raonic forehand blaze wide, held his arms aloft in victory to become the first Frenchman to reach the last four at a Grand Slam since Gael Monfils at the 2016 US Open.
“It all came very fast for me in 2016 reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the US Open. The next year I didn’t win too many matches but I still finished No.18 in the world,” Pouille said, eager to credit Mauresmo for rejuvenating his tennis.
“She's a champion. She's a great coach, I was expecting this starting with Amelie,” reflected the Frenchman, having teamed up with the Australian Open 2006 champion back in December.
“I think she's bringing a lot of confidence to my game, to my personality, to my state of mind. The goal is not to reach the final, the semifinal, the goal is to improve my tennis, to put what I work on during the practice in the match. That gives me less pressure. I'm just trying to focus on my game, not on the consequences and the results.
“Last year I lost a bit of joy on the court and I started a new adventure in my team, which has been a great thing for me. I enjoy being on the court again and that’s the most important thing.”