Tennis: Kerber ends Konta's run to reach Australian Open final

Germany's Angelique Kerber during her semi-final match against Britain's Johanna Konta at the 2016 Australian Open on Jan 28, 2016.
Germany's Angelique Kerber during her semi-final match against Britain's Johanna Konta at the 2016 Australian Open on Jan 28, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

(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 subdued Konta in 82 minutes on Rod Laver Arena to set up a meeting with defending champion Serena Williams, becoming the first German to reach the final at Melbourne Park since Anke Huber in 1996.

Konta, Britain's first female semi-finalist at the Australian Open in 39 years, recovered from a nervous start to take the match to the 28-year-old seventh seed with her powerful serve and ranging groundstrokes.

Left-hander Kerber kept her composure, however, and secured a decisive break for 6-5 in the first set before overwhelming the world No. 47 in the second, sealing victory and a place in Saturday's final when Konta went long with a backhand return.