24 Jan 2018

Kerber storms into semis

2:50 pm on 24 January 2018

Angelique Kerber has stamped her authority over the Australian Open women's field, dismissing Madison Keys with breathless authority to march into the semi finals.

Angelique Kerber celebrates her win over Maria Sharapova.

Angelique Kerber. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kerber, the sole champion remaining in the field, took just 51 minutes to beat the American 6-1 6-2 in their quarter-final on Wednesday.

The German will face either world No.1 Simona Halep or Czech threat Karolina Pliskova on women's semi-final day on Thursday.

On her quarter-final form, Kerber should be feared.

The 2016 champion disarmed the heavy-hitting American with power-punching from the baseline and remarkable consistency.

She made just seven unforced errors for the match and denied the big-serving 22-year-old a single ace.

The smashing was all the more remarkable given Keys' form.

The US Open finalist hadn't dropped a set in four matches leading into the last eight, but saw the first set slip by in a blink of an eye.

Kerber's relentless pressure earned two breaks straight-up, but most impressive was her hold at 3-0.

She smashed three big forehand winners from the baseline and finished out with an ace down the tee.

Madison Keys has eyes only for the ball in Melbourne

Madison Keys has eyes only for the ball in Melbourne Photo: Photosport

The first set was over in just 22 minutes but the break didn't bring a change-up in momentum that Keys dearly needed.

She broke Kerber to bring the games back on serve at 3-2 but gave the break back in the very next game.

Racing to the net to hit a volley, Keys overswung and sent her effort wide, letting Kerber back into a position of dominance.

She didn't look back.

Kerber beamed as she went to the net to meet

"Being in the semis again, it means a lot to me," she said.

Kerber had a tough year in 2017, failing to win a tournament or reach the quarter-finals at any slam after winning the two hardcourt majors in 2016.

"I'm really enjoy my tennis right now. I'm enjoying being on court," she said.

"To be out here having fun, it's so great."

Kerber is on a remarkable 14-match winning streak this year.

She won her four matches at the Hopman Cup, five on her way to winning the Sydney International and has won five at Melbourne Park.

Hsieh Su-wei is the only player to win a set - or even more than five games - over Kerber at this year's Open.

The win also ensures she will be back in the world's top 10 when the next WTA rankings are released at tournament's end.

Despite the loss, Keys will also climb in the rankings.

The 22-year-old will climb from world No.20 to inside the top 15, as she didn't play at Melbourne Park last year and therefore wasn't defending any points.