Wimbledon: Australian Open champion Kerber through to second semi-final at SW19

Angelique Kerber drops her racquet as she celebrates beating Simona Halep in their women's singles quarter-final match at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships, on July 5, 2016.
Angelique Kerber drops her racquet as she celebrates beating Simona Halep in their women's singles quarter-final match at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships, on July 5, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

AFP - Germany's Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber reached her second Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday (July 5) and edged closer to the world No. 1 spot.

The fourth-seeded left-hander emerged victorious over Simona Halep, the fifth seed from Romania, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) on Centre Court and will face Venus Williams (who beat Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6 (7-5), 6-2) for a place in Saturday's final.

Kerber is now within sight of becoming the new world No. 1 - although she needs to win the title while seeing Serena Williams fail to make the semi-finals.

"I think we are both really good returners. It's always tough to play against Simona. I won the last point and that's what counts," said the German.

Kerber now has 33 match wins in 2016, joint-best with fellow quarter-finalist Dominika Cibulkova.

"I have had a great year so far. I think I am playing my best tennis. Hopefully I can play a few more matches here."

The 28-year-old Kerber, who also made the semi-finals in 2012, came out on top in a big-hitting battle with Halep, who was a semi-finalist in 2014.

The first set alone saw nine breaks of serve in 12 games with Kerber squandering leads of 3-1 and 5-3 before her Romanian opponent double-faulted on set point.

Kerber was 4-2 and 5-3 in front in the second before the tenacious Halep fought back to reach the tiebreak in a set which featured four more breaks.

But Kerber dominated the tiebreak, going to match point when Halep was bamboozled by a net cord and then taking victory off a backhand error.