The Australian Open in 2018: Halep and Kerber marching to the quarterfinals

The Australian Open in 2018: Halep and Kerber marching to the quarterfinals

"I try to play fast but I think she likes this".

Angelique Kerber didn't have the kind of season expected of her a year ago after winning the Australian Open and U.S. Open titles in 2016. "I got used to everything", Halep said afterwards.

The 26-year-old Romanian world number one, still seeking a first grand slam title, trailed 3-0 but battened down the hatches to reel off the next nine games on her way to a first Melbourne semi-final. "And she will come forward, and she just does a really good job of balancing getting every ball back but also putting you in a bad position", Keys said.

Kerber will go back into the world's top-10 after reaching the semi-finals and is on a 14-match winning streak in Australia after an unbeaten singles campaign in the Hopman Cup and her triumph in the Sydney warm-up. I was going out there and trying to playing my tennis again.

Despite having a tougher time of things in her past couple of matches, Pliskova has looked very good so far in Melbourne and will be confident heading into her last eight match against world number one Simona Halep.

For anyone who doubted, this was Angelique Kerber in 2016 vintage form. This is pretty much a coin flip and Kerber is probably the favorite due to her experience, but Halep has been consistent and needs that victory to get over the top eventually.

"I don't know, in the last game at 40-0, I thought it was time to do a ceremony or something like that", Chung told Jim Courier in the on-court interview.

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Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, will next play No. 49-ranked Kyle Edmund, who beat No. 3-ranked Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time.

"For sure it wasn't my best start but I knew I had to restart after three games to stop missing and move better", said Halep, whose relentless chasing and powerful groundstrokes overwhelmed her taller, tattooed opponent.

"I was going out there and trying to playing my tennis again and it was a good feeling again".

"I think in the first set I played really passive, and because of that I feel like I wasn't moving as well, wasn't accelerating".

The Czech only managed two aces for the match and won just 55 per cent of points on her first serve.

She made just seven unforced errors for the match. Now that long-deferred Grand Slam title seems tantalizingly within grasp for this more mature, wiser competitor. In her only appearances in major finals, she lost in the French Open title match in both 2014 (to Russia's Maria Sharapova) and 2017 (to Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko).

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