Halep, Kerber seal last 8 spots


The Women's semi-finals are set, with Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and Elise Mertens battling for a place in Saturday's final.

Kerber, the 2016 title victor, easily beat Keys 6-1, 6-2 inside just 51 minutes.

The sixth seed burnt the midnight oil in her all-Czech fourth round grudge match against Barbara Strycova, finally clinching a 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 victory at 1.35 a.m. local time on Tuesday morning.

Kerber's comparatively low ranking is a result of a tough 2017 season for the former world No 1, but a fine start to 2018, which has included the Sydney Open title, has provided plenty of evidence that the two-time grand slam champion is rediscovering her past form. "I think she's reading my game pretty well", Pliskova said. That would be her penultimate game of the match though, as a rampant Halep strolled through to win 6-3 6-2.

Angelique Kerber ominously says she is getting her 2016 Grand Slam winning feeling back, signalling her intent to reclaim the Australian Open with a quarter-final demolition of Madison Keys Wednesday.

Kerber, a former World No. 1 and victor of the Australian Open title in 2016, needed just 51 minutes to advance into the last four, finishing with 13 winners and six breaks of serve out of nine.

Kerber is not expecting to have it easy in her semis clash and added: "I think it will be a long match with a lot of long rallies".

"Being here again, you are working for these moments, and being in the semis again means a lot to me", she said.

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The way Kerber destroyed Madison Keys left no doubt that Halep will have her hands full.

"Yeah, just trying to like being aggressive".

"I'm evolving guys", she said, smiling.

The only major victor left in the draw said she had fallen back in love with tennis and feels the same vibes as in her successful 2016 run when she toppled Serena Williams in the final.

"That was a huge game to go a double-break up", she said after Halep improved her head-to-head record against the Czech to 6-1. She made just seven unforced errors to Keys' 25.

"I just want to go there and to give everything I have like I did the last matches". I know she´s very strong opponent, very strong player. "I have to get my mindset ready for this".

"I know she's going to make three more balls than other girls may be able to get to".

"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. Now that long-deferred Grand Slam title seems tantalizingly within grasp for this more mature, wiser competitor.