Reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber still feels at home on grass. The German confidently eliminated fellow Top 10 player and fellow former No.1 Simona Halep 6-4 6-3 to come back to the semifinals of the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne.
The fourth-seeded Kerber went up a double break in both sets, establishing a 4-1 lead in the first set and 3-0 in the second, and even though the sixth-seeded Halep overall played a good match and managed to get one break back in both sets, two was too much to ask for when the three-time Grand Slam champion was on the other side of the net at a grass court.
In the final game, Kerber raced to 40-0 on Halep’s serve and converted her second match point when the Romanian sent a forehand long.
Kerber’s opponent in the semifinals of the Nature Valley International will be Tunisia’s world No.62 Ons Jabeur, who overcame an ankle injury scare as well as a set and a break deficit in the decider to fight past Alize Cornet 1-6 7-5 6-3 in two hours and four minutes.
As the WTA reports, Jabeur commented after the win: “I think at this tournament, I’m the queen of losing the first set and then coming back. It’s another motivation for me to win, to play better in the second set, but I’m really happy with this win.”
This will be the first career meeting between Kerber and Jabeur.