Angelique Kerber Stuns Karolína Plíšková To Claim Tokyo Semi-Final Berth

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Angelique Kerber

Two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber claimed her biggest win of the year so far at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, by beating current World #4, Karolína Plíšková, 7-6, 7-5. It marks Kerber’s only win over a player in the world’s Top 20 this year, in what has been a forgettable year for the German so far. But could this be the step towards a big comeback from the former World #1?
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Angelique Kerber Stuns Karolína Plíšková To Claim Tokyo Semi-Final Berth

Hitting groundstrokes from down low, using angles to great effect, and capitalising on Plíšková’s errors, Kerber demonstrated some of the form that saw her claim the 2016 Australian and US Open titles. She showed great mental strength at key moments in the match, successfully holding serve throughout, in contrast to what was an out-of-sorts performance from Plíšková. The Czech served poorly at key moments in the match, despite the fact that she actually won a greater proportion of points on her first serve than Kerber. Uncharacteristic double faults especially cost Plíšková the win. It seemed as though she was still going through a period of mental transition following the departure of coach David Kotyza, following the US Open.
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Nonetheless, the result could be monumental for Kerber and for the rest of her season. She admitted that she learnt a lot in terms of dealing with added pressure this year, and she has stuck with coach Torben Beltz throughout, which should be commended. Kerber will now face Anastasiya Pavlyuchenkova in the first semi-final of the tournament, and she should fancy her chances against the Russian. Garbiñe Muguruza (who beat Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-4, in the third quarterfinal or Caroline Wozniacki could await her in the final. Winning the title in Tokyo could be the first step to Angelique Kerber regaining the form that saw her clinch Grand Slam titles last year. Her fans and her team will certainly hope that she does, especially with the imminent return of Serena Williams going into next season.

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