Wimbledon 2016: Kerber defeats Halep to reach the semi-finals

The match contained 13 breaks of serve before the fourth seed finally progressed.

Wimbledon 2016: Kerber defeats Halep to reach the semi-finals
(Picture from Sky Sports)

The sun shined brightly on Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber as she reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the second time in her career.

The 28-year-old German, who reached the last four at the All England Club four years ago, beat fifth seed Simona Halep in a topsy-turvy match on Centre Court which included thirteen breaks of serve.

After 1 hour and 30 minutes it was the movement and retrieving dexterity of Kerber which ultimately overcame the resolve of Halep, who did well to extend the match into a second set tie break.    

Even so it wasn’t enough to stop the fourth seed, who still hasn’t dropped a set at this year’s championships, following a 7-5 7-6(2) victory.

Kerber will now take on the winner of the match between Serena Williams and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Thursday’s semi-final.

Kerber on track for a second major this year

Should Williams lose that match and Kerber go on to win the title on Saturday afternoon, the German would receive the added bones of being promoted to world number one. Though that’s probably not on her mind just yet.

“I think we both played a really good match on a really high level and we are both really good return players,” said the current world number four after the match.

“It’s always tough to play against Simona, she is a great player and she is moving so good but I won the last point and that’s what counts."

Kerber in action. | Image credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Kerber in action. | Image credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Nine breaks of serve in the opening set

As expected the match turned into a battle of athleticism rather than power and force, as eight of the first ten games went against the serve.

Kerber led for most of the opening set, which saw both players situate a number of high quality returns back into play.

In the early stages there were some enthralling cat and mouse exchanges between the two, which involved some deft drop shots and relentless scurrying from the back of the court.

At 5-3 Kerber served for a set lead, but followed the theme of losing serve when she fired a forehand wide of her mark.

The German did go on to hold in the eleventh game to lead 6-5, and was subsequently handed the opener when Halep double faulted on the first set point.

The Romanian came out fighting at the start of the second, as both players began to take more risks and aim closer for the lines.

Kerber struggles to serve it out but comes through in a tie break

They unusually both held serve for the first four games of the set; however it was Kerber who then took the initiative and raced into a 5-3 lead, with her flat forehand doing most of the damage.

Once again the German served for the set but once again she began to buckle and was forced into a tie break.

Halep had the momentum at that point but after winning the first point in the breaker she went away tamely and conceded the match by sending a backhand wide at 2-6.

Kerber will more than likely return to Centre Court for her semi-final encounter in two days’ time.