Kerber into second Wimbledon semi-final

Angelique Kerber of Germany celebrates after beating Laura Robson of Britain during their women's singles match on day one of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, June 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

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.

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