LONDON: Germany’s Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber reached her second Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday and edged closer to the world number one spot.
The fourth-seeded left-hander emerged victorious over Simona Halep, the fifth seed from Romania, 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) on Centre Court and will face either Venus Williams or Yaroslava Shvedova for a place in Saturday’s final.
Kerber is now in sight of becoming the new world number one — although she needs to win the title while seeing Serena Williams fail to make the semi-finals.
“I think we are both really good returners. It’s always tough to play against Simona. I won the last point and that’s what counts,” said the winner.
Kerber now has 33 match wins in 2016, joint-best with fellow quarter-finalist Dominika Cibulkova.
“I have had a great year so far. I think I am playing my best tennis. Hopefully I can play a few more matches here.”
The 28-year-old Kerber, who also made the semi-finals in 2012, came out on top in a big-hitting battle with Halep, who was a semi-finalist in 2014.
The first set alone saw nine breaks of serve in 12 games with Kerber squandering leads of 3-1 and 5-3 before her Romanian opponent double-faulted on set point.
Kerber was 4-2 and 5-3 in front in the second before the tenacious Halep fought back to reach the tiebreak in a set which featured four more breaks.
But Kerber dominated the tiebreak, going to match point when Halep was bamboozled by a net cord and then taking victory off a backhand error.