Kerber conquers Konta to enter first Australian Open final

Melbourne, Jan 28 (IANS) Seventh seed Angelique Kerber on Thursday ended Johanna Konta’s dream run at the Australian Open, winning 7-5, 6-2 against the unseeded Briton to book a spot in the tennis singles final against top seed Serena Williams.

German Kerber is now into her first ever Grand Slam final — she was the only player in the Top 10 to have never made it to the last stage.

“It’s a really special moment,” Kerber said after the match.

“I mean, I reached the finals for the first time. I was trying to give everything today on the court.”

Playing Konta for the first time, Kerber drew from experience, the 28-year-old having made two Grand Slam semi-final appearances under her belt.

Kerber used that newfound confidence to stem the rising tide of Konta, who was chasing British tennis history in her bid to become the country’s first Grand Slam finalist since 1977.

The German started off the match with two emphatic breaks of serve, leaping ahead to a 3-0 lead while Konta, who was making her first main draw appearance in Melbourne, showed signs of nerves early on.

The Briton was able to reel off four straight games to ease her way back into the match, but after a brief rain delay Kerber emerged with the first set, 7-5.

Kerber was ruthless in the second set, building a 4-1 lead as the errors continued to pile up for the Briton. A stray backhand from Konta sealed the set and Kerber’s spot in the final, 6-2.

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