No.8 seed Angelique emerged victorious over Venus Williams in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday, claiming a 7-6(3), 6-3 win and clinching her third semifinal showing at Indian Wells in her career.
Reported by WTATennis.com
Angelique had won five of her previous eight meetings with Williams, but the 38-year-old American had won three of their five prior matches on hardcourt coming into Thursday’s encounter. Nevertheless, Kerber claimed a hard-fought first set to help ease to the match victory after an hour and 36 minutes of play.
31-year-old Kerber, into her first Indian Wells semifinal since back-to-back appearances in 2012 and 2013, will take on resurgent No.23 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the final four. Bencic got past No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic earlier on Thursday, and will try to claim her seventh Top 10 win in her last nine matches against Kerber.
Kerber took the first big lead in the groundstroke battle when she used well-placed low returns to break the Williams serve for 4-2. But the American struck back immediately, jumping right back on serve in the next game after a clutch of errors off of the forehand side of Kerber.
The German once again claimed a break lead, taking advantage of backhand errors from Williams to lead 5-4 and serve for the set. But Williams grinded though the next game, blasting her powerful shots to grasp five break points, eventually converting the last after a netted forehand by Kerber.
After two routine holds, the players advanced to the decisive tiebreak, where Kerber used a forehand passing shot down the line to claim the first mini-break, and rode that to a 5-2 lead. Williams was undone by unforced errors in the breaker; her fifth miscue of the tiebreak gave Kerber triple set point at 6-3, and a sixth ceded the set to the German.