MELBOURNE, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Revitalised 2016 champion Angelique Kerber made a major statement of intent as she stormed into the semi-finals of the Australian Open with a dominant 6-1 6-2 victory over Madison Keys on Wednesday.
Making a mockery of the 21st seeding she landed after a miserable 2017, the former world number one outplayed Keys in almost every facet of the 51-minute match on Rod Laver Arena.
In an echo of her loss to compatriot Sloane Stephens in the final of last year’s U.S. Open final, Keys simply failed to get going until 3-1 down in the second set when she unleashed a couple of bombs to break the German.
A 21st unforced error from Keys gave Kerber the break straight back, however, and the 30-year-old sealed a semi-final date with Simona Halep or Karolina Pliskova with a third break of the set when the American netted a backhand.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Greg Stutchbury