Tennis

Venus rolls back the years

American veteran downs world No. 1 Kerber to make Miami Open semi-finals

Venus Williams sent world No. 1 Angelique Kerber crashing out of the Miami Open yesterday morning (Singapore time), setting up a semi-final showdown with Britain's Johanna Konta.

Williams, who is the oldest woman in the field at the age of 36, downed Kerber in straight sets, winning 7-5, 6-3 while Konta fought back to beat Romania's Simon Halep 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-2.

Both results had the element of surprise about them with Kerber the top seed and Halep the third and in good form, but they set up what should be a fascinating contest this morning.

The other semi-final pits Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki against second seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

With the local crowd behind her, three-time Miami winner Williams clearly believed she could topple the German, but the first set saw both players struggle to hold their serves.

The American broke Kerber four times while Williams failed to hold serve twice, but the contest was more one-sided in the second set.

Williams raced to a 4-1 lead before Kerber broke back and started to produce some great shots as she battled in vain to save the match.

"It was an interesting match. I was controlling it. I had more errors and lower first-serve percentage than I would have liked," said Williams.

"I have to play well against the No. 1 in the world. She's on top of her game and she played well, so I had to find a way to play a little better."

She’s on top of her game and she played well, so I had to find a way to play a little better. Venus Williams on beating Angelique Kerber

Kerber has yet to win a tournament this year and most recently went out in the Round of 16 in Indian Wells.

"This wasn't the best start I would have wished for, but it's not a drama because I'm still playing good and winning matches. I'm looking forward to playing again," she said.

"It wasn't my best game, but she deserved to win because she played really well tonight." - AFP

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