After second seed Karolina Pliskova and twelfth seed Caroline Wozniacki set up their Miami Open semifinal clash on Tuesday, Johanna Konta and Venus Williams completed the tournament’s semifinal field on Wednesday with victories over Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber, respectively.
In the first Wednesday’s quarterfinal, the tenth-seeded Konta surrendered the sole break of the first set, but then opened the second set with a 3-0 lead, getting just a point away from 4-0. The third-seeded Halep, who saved a match point in the previous round against Samantha Stosur, hit back to force a tiebreak in the unpredictable set, but Konta dug deep and won a scrappy tiebreak to take the match to a decider, which she won without facing a break point. After two and a half hours, Konta celebrated 3-6 7-6(7) 6-2.
The eleventh-seeded Williams recorded her 15th career win against a No.1 player by beating Angelique Kerber on her fifth match point, 7-5 6-3. The encounter was a display of offence against defense, as Williams attacked and charged the net when she saw the opportunity, while Kerber wasn’t aggressive even on her own serve, facing 13 break points and dropping serve five times.
Konta leads Williams 2-1 in their head-to-head record, having won their last two encounters, last year at the Australian Open and in Stanford. But Williams considers the Miami Open her home event, as she lives nearby, in Palm Beach Gardens, and she’s won the prestigious title three times (in 1998, 1999 and 2001). (photos: Jimmie48)