German Kerber ends Konta's run to reach Melbourne final

Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:18am EST
 
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Angelique Kerber ended Johanna Konta's fairytale run at the Australian Open with a 7-5 6-2 victory on Thursday to earn a place in her first grand slam final.

Kerber, the first German woman to reach the Melbourne title decider in 20 years, subdued the British main draw debutante in 82 minutes to set up a meeting with reigning champion Serena Williams.

Konta, Britain's first women's semi-finalist at the Australian Open in 39 years, recovered from a nervous start to take the match to the seventh seed in a tight first set.

Kerber kept her composure, however, and secured a decisive break for 6-5 in the first set before overwhelming the world number 47 in the second, sealing victory when Konta went long with a backhand return.

"It's a really special moment to reach the finals for the first time," said Kerber.

"I was just trying to give everything on court. Johanna had a great two weeks and has a great future. She was a tough opponent and I'm sure she will win many tournaments.

"It's great for German tennis to reach the final here. I got a lot of messages yesterday."

Konta showed her understandable nerves with eight unforced errors in the opening two games and Kerber took full advantage to race to a 3-0 lead.   Continued...

 
Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates after winning her semi-final match against Britain's Johanna Konta at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato