Aggression, character vital for Kerber


Angelique Kerber believes her aggression and character were crucial to her surprise win over Victoria Azarenka in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

Kerber claimed her first win over the Belarusian two-time grand slam champion, recording a 6-3 7-5 victory on Wednesday to reach the last four in Melbourne for the first time.

The German had lost six previous matches against Azarenka and said being aggressive and mentally tough was key.

Kerber finished the clash with 31 winners and just 16 unforced errors.

"I think it's both of these [holding her nerve and being more aggressive]," Kerber told a news conference.

"When I was 4-0 up in the first set, my nerves came a little bit. I was feeling it.

"It was close that it was 4-4. I was able to get to 5-3 in the first set, so that was a really important moment in the first set.

"Then I was just trying to focus on my game, to be aggressive, to be the player who makes the winners and who is going for it.

"I was not thinking too much about the score, I was just trying to focus more to play a good match, to play my game like I played in the practice.

"That was the whole time until the last point in my mind."

Kerber will face Johanna Konta in the semi-finals on Thursday after the Brit cruised past Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai.

But the seventh seed is eager not to get too far ahead of herself, with a potential first ever grand slam final in sight.

"For sure I will not be thinking about this. I will try to focus just on the next match, which is tomorrow," Kerber said.

"That's in my mind to play good tennis again."