Tennis: Kerber thwarts Azarenka comeback to reach Australian Open semi-finals

Angelique Kerber celebrates after winning her quarter-final match against Victoria Azarenka.
Angelique Kerber celebrates after winning her quarter-final match against Victoria Azarenka.PHOTO: EPA

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Angelique Kerber advanced to her first Australian Open semi-final with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Victoria Azarenka in a see-sawing quarter-final on Wednesday.

Twice champion Azarenka had lost just 11 games in her previous four matches at the tournament but found herself 0-4 down in the first set, which German Kerber went on to take in 48 minutes.

Azarenka mounted a comeback in the second set and had a chance to serve it out at 5-2 but seventh seed Kerber saved three set points, then saved two more in the 10th game to level the set at 5-5.

Kerber kept up the pressure and clinched the match in 1hr 45min.

She will meet 47th-ranked Briton Johanna Konta, who ended the fairy-tale run of 133rd-ranked Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai by winning 6-4, 6-1.