By Curt Janka
(August 8, 2015) STANFORD, California – Despite going down an early break, Angelique Kerber raced to a lopsided semifinal win over Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-1 at the Bank of the West Classic. Svitolina started out well, but was quickly flustered by Kerber’s defense and variety. Kerber showed all the patience of a veteran and none of the wear expected from her grueling quarterfinal. In contrast, Svitolina showed her youth and frustration at her inability to regain any control of the match.
After being broken in the third game, Kerber got a determined look in her eye, broke right back and never let her opponent regain any momentum. Asked about how she turned the match around, she offered “Actually the first few games were very close. I was trying to be aggressive like I talked before the match with my coach and trying to think about my game plan. At the end it worked very well. And maybe it [getting broken] was a little bit of a wake up call, yeah.”
It wasn’t as high-level as her quarterfinal, but Kerber still managed to hit 18 winners with only 14 unforced errors. Svitolina had more trouble keeping the ball in the court, hitting only 12 winners while racking up 20 unforced errors.
Kerber now faces Karolina Pliskova in the final, a rematch of their final in Birmingham earlier this year. Kerber needed a tiebreaker in the third to win that match and knows she will have another tough match in this final. “I’m looking forward to it,” she said with a smile. “The final in Birmingham was very close. Against Karolina, I know she has a big serve so I must try to return very well tomorrow. And, like I was playing the whole week here, be aggressive, playing my game. But for sure it will be a tough final against Karolina. But I will try to enjoy it.”
Regardless of tomorrow’s result, Kerber will leave Stanford with the kind of confidence that could result in a deep run at The U.S. Open.