Confident Kerber undaunted by double Williams challenge

Tue Jul 5, 2016 1:48pm EDT
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By John Stonestreet

LONDON (Reuters) - A daunting double over the Williams sisters may stand between Angelique Kerber and a second grand slam but it is a challenge the German, having beaten Serena in January to win her first major, feels well prepared to meet.

The evidence suggests that fourth seed Kerber, just as she did when stunning the world number one in the Australian Open final in January, has timed her tournament run perfectly.

Her game has improved with every round and, having struck a finely calibrated balance between accuracy and aggression in Tuesday's pulsating quarter-final win over Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep, is the only woman in the draw yet to drop a set.

"I'm playing really good tennis right now... I think I'm playing like in Australia," she told reporters after her 7-5 7-6(2) win. "I know I can win such tournaments."

Next up for the in-form German is eighth seed Venus Williams, at 36 the oldest player in the women's singles and experiencing something of a renaissance in reaching her first grand slam semi-final since 2010.

When Kerber turned professional, the American already held four of her seven major singles titles and was a star on the horizon for the 15-year-old newcomer.

Since then, her relationship with both sisters has moved onto a more equal footing, and Kerber has beaten Venus three times in the five matches they have played.

"When I came onto the tour the two Williams sisters were always the top favorites but in the meantime I have won against them both and so the respect is there," the German said.   Continued...

Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 5/7/16 Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates during her match against Romania's Simona Halep REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth