Kerber Zooms Into Miami Semifinal

PC:Miami Open Twitter
www.wtatennis.com|31-Mar-2016 10:06

MIAMI, FL, USA - No.2 seed Angelique Kerber put on a comprehensive display against No.22 seed Madison Keys, dispatching the young American, 6-3, 6-2 and reach her first career semifinal at the Miami Open. Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Miami right here on wtatennis.com! Kerber came to Miami without a WTA win since capturing her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, but a few tense matches - most notably a third set comeback over Timea Babos in the fourth round - appears to have helped the German rediscover her confidence.

"It's nice to play a match like this," Kerber said after the match. "I was feeling good. Madison is always a tough opponent. I know this because we had a lot of tough battles in the past. "I knew that I must play very good to beat her because she played very well here in the last few matches. So it's good. It's good."

Playing in her signature style, she drew 39 errors from Keys, who had taken Kerber to three sets in their last two meetings. Racing out to a 4-0 lead in the second set, the 2015 Australian Open semifinalist could do little more than force her more experienced opponent to serve out the victory in just over an hour.

Speaking to media following the win, Kerber admitted to feeling overwhelmed after her big breakthrough in Melbourne. "Actually, it was not so easy after, you know, because I had so many things to do, and also after Indian Wells where I was still not feeling 100%. I had few days before coming here to focus again on my practice, on my work on court, and to playing here good matches. "I had also had a tough match in the last round. Today I was feeling much better, and I think that the matches here. They give me more confidence for the next tournaments and that I'm still on a good way."

Looming next for Kerber is former No.1 and BNP Paribas Open champion Victoria Azarenka. The Belarusian, who defeated top-ranked Brit Johanna Konta earlier in the day, had looked the clear favorite to reach the final Down Under with a title in Brisbane and a 6-0 head-to-head against Kerber heading into their quarterfinal. Kerber nonetheless turned the tables on the two-time Australian Open champion and earned her first win in their rivalry in straight sets, going on to defeat World No.1 Serena Williams in the final.

"I went out there and trying to be really aggressive from the first point, trying to really believe in myself, because until this time I never won the match against her," she said of that fateful match in January. "It was 0-6; now it's 1-6. I will try to go out there again like in Australia and try to believe in my game and myself and, yeah, trying to challenge her. "It will be not easy. It will be tough match. But this is for what I am practicing, for the big matches out there, to really show what, yeah, we can do and playing the best tennis.

"So I'm really looking forward to play against her again this year." The winner of Kerber's semifinal with Azarenka will reach their third final of the season; Kerber will be keen to nab her first WTA title since capturing Grand Slam glory while Azarenka is a mere two matches from becoming the third woman in WTA history to complete the Indian Wells-Miami "Sunshine" Double. Steffi Graf twice won both titles in 1994 and 1996, while Kim Clijsters most recently achieved the feat in 2005.

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