Kerber books clash with Venus

Defeats Ozaki to set up quarter-final with oldest player in Miami Open


Afp March 28, 2017
Photo: AFP

MIAMI: World number one Angelique Kerber despatched Japanese qualifier Risa Ozaki 6-2, 6-2 to set up a quarter-final clash with Venus Williams Monday at the Miami Open.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams fought past Russian seventh-seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the last eight.

Fourth-seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia crashed out to the Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova and ailing French Open champion Garbine Muguruza also bowed out in the fourth round.

Kerber took charge early, breaking twice to establish a 4-1 lead and she was in firm control from then on.

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The German said that while her opponent may only have been ranked 87th she had studied Ozaki's game closely before the contest.

"She came through the qualies, she beat good players, so I was ready for it," said Kerber. "I talked with my team and I knew that she's moving good and bringing a lot of balls back. I was trying to play my game and be aggressive."

Williams cruised through the first set before Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam champion and runner-up at Indian Wells last week, fought back to take the second set to a tie-break.

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It was a fierce battle for the decisive points, Kuznetsova going 4-1 up, but after two lengthy rallies, both of which were won by the 36-year-old Williams, the oldest player in the tournament emerged victorious.

The victory, sealed with a delicate slice at the net, was Williams' first against a top 10 opponent since 2015.

"It was tough out there," said Williams. "She is like a wall. To come back in the tie-break was great. I hope I can keep that tennis up."

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