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Venus Williams beats Kerber at Miami Open

dpa logodpa 29/03/2017

American veteran Venus Williams has beaten world No.1 Angelique Kerber in their Miami Open tennis quarter-final.

Venus Williams moved a step closer to her first Miami Open title since 2001 when she beat top seed Angelique Kerber in their quarter-final.

Williams recorded a 7-5 6-3 to set up a semi-final showdown with Britain's Johanna Konta.

Williams, who hasn't dropped a set during the WTA event, took charge when German Kerber double-faulted on the final two points of the opening set.

Kerber opened the second set strongly, but Williams then reeled off four successive games to take a firm grip before eventually converting a fifth match point.

"I play my best when I am aggressive," Williams said during her court-side interview.

"Angie is playing better than the last time I played her, which was in a Wimbledon semi-final.

"It was good to get to play her and it is an amazing feeling to be better than the world number one."

The win was Williams' 15th against a No.1 player but her first since 2014.

Seeded No. 11, 36-year-old Williams is in to the tournament's semi-finals for the first time in seven years. She first won this tournament 19 years ago, while her second title win was in 2001.

Konta became the first British woman to reach a semi-final in Key Biscayne by beating third seed Simona Halep 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-2.

Konta, the 10th seed, constructed a comeback over two and a half hours to send the favoured Romanian out in the last-eight struggle.

The Brit was on the verge of being knocked out when - after breaking Halep in the 10th game of the second set to force a tie-break - she found herself 5-3 down.

However, three points in quick succession swung things back in Konta's favour and she levelled up the match at a set each.

"I just tried to find my rhythm and timing out there and also just try and hone in on what I was trying to achieve," Konta told BT Sport 1.

"She was also playing very well, so it was both ends of the spectrum.

The pair combined for 13 double-faults over the course of the afternoon, with Konta breaking for 3-2 in the final set to move into position for victory.

"I just tried to find my rhythm and timing out there and also just try and hone in on what I was trying to achieve," Konta told BT Sport 1.

"She was also playing very well, so it was both ends of the spectrum."

Despite letting victory slip through her fingers, Halep took comfort from a good showing at the tournament.

"It was a really tough match, very high level," Halep told the WTA after the match.

"I was so close to winning, I was two points away in the tiebreak, but she played very strong and deserved to win today.'

The comments were in contract to Halep's negative on-court remarks to her Australian coach Darren Cahill after she lost the second set.

Cahill told a sullen Halep she was a better athlete than Konta, imploring her to make her opponent run in the third set.

"You can write yourself off but I'm not writing you off," Cahill said.

"It's up to you. It comes from within ... Be brave in the big moments."

Cahill's remarks did not have the desired effect, however.

"This is my character," Halep grumbled to her coach.

"Two double faults at the end of the tiebreak and I miss all the balls."

Caroline Wozniacki and Karolina Pliskova will meet in the other semi-final.

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