Kerber sets up Miami date with Azarenka

Kerber sets up Miami date with Azarenka

Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber crushed American Madison Keys 6-3 6-2 to reach her first Miami Open semi-final, where she will meet fellow grand slam winner Victoria Azarenka.

Kerber recovered from an early break to take command against Keys, who came into the match having not dropped serve so far in the tournament.

But that streak didn’t last as the world No.3 Kerber broke her four times in 68 minutes.

Two-time Miami champion Azarenka, another Australian Open champion, beat Johanna Konta 6-4 6-2 to close in on back-to-back titles following her Indian Wells triumph.

Konta, a 2016 Australian Open semi-finalist, struggled against the firepower of Azarenka, who is on the comeback trail after two injury-riddled seasons.

So dominant was her performance after getting through a touch-and-go opening set that she committed only two unforced errors in the second set against her 23rd-ranked opponent.

“I’m only looking at a semi-final now,” Azarenka said of the prospect of backing up her Indian Wells title.

“The final seems so close, but it is really far. I want to continue to fight and get better. I never doubt my abilities, and I believe in myself.

“I still feel that I’m far from my best, and that’s what’s really exciting for me, to be motivated, to keep improving.”

Kerber is emerging from a minor form slump following her Australian Open success, losing two subsequent opening round WTA matches – including at Indian Wells this month.

“This means a lot, my first Miami semi-final,” she said.

“I know I must play very well to beat Madison. I focussed on my game, tried to move well and go for it.”

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