15
Mar
12

Kerber jumps into the top 15 and will present Azarenka with a tough challenge in the semifinal.

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Angelique Kerber lit up center court at the BNP Paribas Open, grinding out a 47-minute first set then cruising past No.8 seed Li Na in the second set to reach the semifinals. The No.18-seeded Kerber had lost all three of the pair’s previous matches, but after toughing out the lengthy first set, which could have gone either way as Li held a point to make it 5-all, Kerber had little trouble in the second set, winning the last five games – and last 11 points – to prevail under the lights, 64 62. “She was playing very tough, so I just tried to move very well and hit deep, just play aggressive tennis and focus on me,” Kerber said. “I knew I had to be focused until the last point, though – the last two matches I was match point down and won, so I knew I needed to be focused until the last point today.” Kerber recorded her third career Top 10 win, having gotten her first two just last month in Paris (against Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli). Now she will take on the World No.1, though, a semifinal clash with Victoria Azarenka. “I have nothing to lose in the next match,” Kerber said of the looming semifinal. “I will go out there, try to play my tennis and focus on myself like today. But also I’m going to try to enjoy myself out there, and try to beat her, of course.” Kerber, who will crack the Top 15 by virtue of this result, is quietly becoming a household name.

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