By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Angelique Kerber  def. Daria Kasatkina  6-3 7-5
- Will face Jelena Ostapenko in the semi-final (first meeting)
WIMBLEDON, UK – Angelique Kerber has a great shot at making the Wimbledon final for the second time, where she will face Jelena Ostapenko.
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Angelique Kerber is a match away from reaching a second Wimbledon final after figuring out the game of Daria Kasatkina in the quarter-finals. The Russian had proved to be a bug-bear for the German in 2017, where she was dealing with almost a year-long hangover from 2016, where she win two Slam titles, and notched up the Year-end World No. 1 title.
For someone who had always been seen as one of the hardest working players on the tour, 2016 was a just reward, but the turmoil in 2017 saw the German fall out of the Top 20 by the end of the year.
She said: “I think I learned a lot from the last two years, especially from the mental side, that I have really focusing on my way, on my practices, but also on the way I’m playing the matches where I have [been] taking the matches in my hand, but also making the day schedule around off-court how it works the best for me.”
Away from the pressure though, Kerber has stabilised her game –she even reached the quarter-final of Roland Garros on an icky, slippy surface she would be the first to admit is not her favourite. While she is in with a great shout of laying her hands on the Wimbledon title if she has another crack at it, it is doubtful we will see her slaying for a career slam.
To watch her could be to watch stress personified. Every miss is greeted with a wince and a pain that looks like the final nail in a coffin, but when she wins, the roar announces every bit of her intent.
So, is she actually happy when she plays on this fickle, living turf?
“I’m always really low in my legs. I think this is what is good also for my game. I think also all the experience that I had, the memories, big matches that I played here, also on grass, I think this gives me, like, the feeling that I really love to play on the surface.”
Her dogged athleticism is not to be ignored. While Ostapenko may have an easy tap into an aggressive game, Kerber can make that switch from aggressive play, that she has developed over time, to defence to run the Latvian ragged.
“I think it’s a big challenge, especially about Ostapenko where I never played against her. I mean, she won also a Grand Slam. I think it will be really a good match. I think the match starts from zero. I mean, the pressure is not always on my side. She won a Grand Slam, as well. Yeah, I think that we are both looking forward to playing the semis.”
The pressure will be on Kerber’s racquet, but experience and memories have a way of bringing out the best in players. They may just lift Kerber to greatness.
The Ladies’ semi-finals will take place on Centre Court on Thursday, from 1pm (BST).
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