Australian Open Semifinal Preview: Angelique Kerber - Johanna Konta
Australian Open Semifinal Preview: Angelique Kerber vs Johanna Konta

Angelique Kerber will meet British number one Johanna Konta to fight for a spot in the Australian Open final. This is the first meeting between these players, and the winner is set to play on Saturday night the winner of the match between Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska.

Kerber stuns Victoria Azarenka and reaches her first Australian Open semifinal

Angelique Kerber started the year with a final in Brisbane that she lost against former number one Victoria Azarenka. Last night, Kerber surprised Azarenka with a terrific performance, coming back from 2-5 in the second set and saving five set points the Belarusian couldn't convert. After an hour and forty-four minutes, the German came out on top 6-3, 7-5. The service was a key to win this match, winning 58% of her first serve and 56% with the second.

Her road to the semifinal started with a three set win over Japanese, Misaki Doi winning with a scoreline of 6-7(4), 7-6(6), 6-3. The rest of her path has been less complicated, only losing a set in the whole tournament. 

Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates her win against Belarus's Victoria Azarenka during their women's singles on day ten of the 2016 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 27, 2016. PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images
Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates her win against Belarus's Victoria Azarenka during their women's singles on day ten of the 2016 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 27, 2016. PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images

Konta ends 29 year drought for British women.

It has been a dream road for British Johanna Konta. Before this Australian Open, she had only won four Grand Slam matches and last year, she hadn't even gone through the first round of qualifying. Ranked at 146th just seven months ago, now she's one round away from being the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam final in 33 years.

Konta started the tournament pulling an upset over Venus Williams in straight sets. Later in the tournament, she had a grueling match against former world number eight Ekaterina Makarova. In the quarterfinal match, she met Zhang Shuai, another player who had also stunned the world when she defeated world number two Simona Halep. Konta won her quarterfinal match 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and twenty-two minutes. 

Shuai Zhang of China congratulates Johanna Konta of Great Britain on winning their quarter final match against during day 10 of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Shuai Zhang of China congratulates Johanna Konta of Great Britain on winning their quarter final match against during day 10 of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Analysis

If Kerber has something on her favor is that she is no stranger to a Grand Slam semifinal, having reached two in her career (US Open 2011, Wimbledon 2012). This time, Kerber has a big opportunity to reach her first Grand Slam final. Experience could be a huge a factor in this match. 

Konta needs to fight every point, her serve and return must be on point and don't let her nerves to get in the way. Both players are about to play the biggest match of their careers as they are just a match away from being Grand Slam finalists.

After seeing a powerful Kerber last night, it is hard not to think she'll play very solid against the Brit. However, let's not overrule Konta yet, while the German is the clear favorite, Konta can take advantage of the pressure Kerber will have to face. Konta has nothing to lose, she needs to go out there and give everything, after all, she has already achieved more than she had ever imagined.

Prediction: Kerber in two sets.

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