Super Kerber marches into Open semi-finals

Super Kerber marches into Open semi-finals

"She didn't play anything, like, any flawless shot".

World No.1 Simona Halep has continued her marathon Australian Open campaign, defeating Ashleigh Barty's third-round slayer Naomi Osaka to book her spot in the quarter-finals.

The 22-year-old tried charging the net in a desperate attempt to kickstart her game but a brilliant backhand pass from Kerber brought up two set points and the stanza was hers in 22 minutes when the 17th seed sent a forehand long. Much of the credit for that must go to Kerber.

"I have a lot of confidence and belief in my game already, because I start the year good, played good in Perth, and I won Sydney". "I have to play something to beat her, have to have some winners, some aces against her".

"You know, it's great to being back in the quarters again", the 30-year-old told reporters.

"I think she has helped me in a lot of big moments and a lot of big matches", said Keys, who reached the semi-finals at Melbourne in 2015. She looks and hits like she should win everything, only she doesn't.

Karolina Pliskova congratulates Simona Halep at the Australian Open. She's just 5-foot-6, short of power and must rely on her quick feet, wits and stamina.

The German progressed to a sixth career grand slam semi-final with a 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Madison Keys in Melbourne.

Halep said she had to "restart" the match midway through the opening set.

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"I don't know, in the last game at 40-0, I thought it was time to do a ceremony or something like that", Chung told Jim Courier in the on-court interview.

Leading 3-0, the German had two breaks to her favor and wasn't willing to relinquish her serve as she extended her lead to 4-0. She lost the first three games of the match but then recovered and managed to win 12 of the next 14 games. So I need to change something maybe for next time. 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.

"I think just these late night matches they should cancel". Her ranking plummeted from one to outside the top 15 by the year's end.

"I didn't feel like it wasn't fair to me - I was just happy to play on Rod Laver".

Halep belted a return victor at Pliskova's feet two games later to draw an error and seal victory in a surprisingly quick 71 minutes. Pliskova said with a smile, before agreeing that she had not been particularly bothered about going a set down. And she doesn't hit it hard herself, which makes the Czech have to try to create the pace herself.

One can only hope that Kerber's annus horribilis taught her some useful lessons and that she's now ready to resume her position at the top of the women's game where she belongs.

Keys, who didn't play at Melbourne Park past year because of off-season wrist surgery, is the only American woman left in the draw. I'm trying to play 100 percent, which I was close to today. And yet, time and again, we have seen - especially on the women's side in recent years - that after winning a first major, players seem to fade away. I show this so many times during my practices. "Now I'm just trying to give everything I have and to play the best to win it".

The head-to-head between Kerber and Halep was heavily weighted towards Halep early on.

It hasn't been an easy past couple of years for Kerber though-after an wonderful 2016 campaign, she had a lackluster 2017 and could only make the fourth round in Melbourne and lost in the first round in NY (where she was defending her Grand Slam titles). Both players had faced each other on six occasions, Kerber only losing once in 2014.