2016 champion Kerber advances to Australian Open semifinals


Romanian tennis star Simona Halep, the current number one in the WTA ranking of the best women's tennis players in the world, qualified to the Australian Open's semifinals for the first time in her career.

Making a mockery of the 21st seeding she landed after a miserable 2017, the former world number one outplayed Keys in nearly every facet of the 51-minute match to seal a semi-final date with Simona Halep or Karolina Pliskova.

Keys, one of the most powerful servers in the game, didn't tally a single ace.

The way she has dealt with Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova in the last two rounds has been particularly impressive and after starting her season with a semi-final appearance at the Brisbane International, it's clear she is in brilliant form. "She likes it here".

Experience says that Wozniacki will guts out the win, but it will cost her three sets, most likely having to come from a set down. She's playing without bandages, playing with loose and quick movement, and seemingly running around with no pain. Per the Open's official website, the sixth seed won just 30 of the 64 points played on her serve. I know she's a very strong opponent, very strong player. She was hitting winners. It really was a lot to absorb, and she is someone who is thinking about things quite a lot, not just taking it lightly and going her way.

The 21-year-old wobbled when serving out the match, squandering a 40-0 lead and seeing a total of five match points disappear into a cloudless sky as world number 97 Sandgren battled gamely. Only seven unforced errors.

"For sure is going to be a second marathon this tournament", Halep said of her upcoming match against Kerber.

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No. 2 seed Wozniacki, after an early-morning win over Carla Suárez Navarro, will face unseeded Elise Mertens in the other semifinal. But I read her serve many times today. She doesn't have to give any power into her shots. Although she has 5-4 edge from their previous encounters, Kerber said: "Every match starts from zero".

"It wasn't my best start but I just knew I have to restart actually after three games, to stop missing that much and to move better which I did pretty well in the end", the 26-year-old said.

There was early encouragement for Pliskova as she held an extended opening service game then cracked a forehand victor to earn a break point, which she converted when Halep missed a forehand over the baseline.

"I'm evolving guys", she said, smiling. In her match against an ailing Elina Svitolina she dominated from the badeline, and can do a lot of damage with her forehand, not to mention her stronger backhand.

"I don't think I did something that wrong".

Halep, who said she was untroubled by the ankle problem that has bothered her at times here, was never going to lose her grip from there, even if Pliskova did offer some late resistance.