Kerber Passes Hsieh Test To Reach Australian Open Quarterfinal Against Keys
(January 22, 2018) Angelique Kerber survived a big test from world No. 88 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday at the Australian Open. The last remaining major champion in the women’s draw won 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 over a former top-ranked doubles champion who hit’s two-handed on both sides, to reach the last eight in Melbourne. Hsieh beat No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza in the second round.
Hsieh carved up a series of slices, spins, lobs and half volley which broke up the German’s rhythm. Kerber figured out the puzzle late in the second set and figured out to break serve to stay in the match.
“Credit to her. She played an unbelievable match,” said Kerber in her on-court interview. “I was feeling I was running everywhere. She was playing a lot of corners and drop shots. I was bringing a lot of balls back.”
“The first two game for me was not easy, because I was thinking, Oh, that’s Kerber,” Hsieh said to media. “And I make a lot of mistakes on the first two games. Then the third game I try to do my plan again, to forget opponent and try to do my shot, and then I come back a little bit and it was going well after that.”
Asked if she had a specific plan to play Kerber, she said:”I don’t have a plan. Actually, my boyfriend was looking her game earlier this morning. I forgot to ask him what she play, so, I actually have no plan to go on the court.
“So I was try to still going my Su-Wei style, you know.”
“I call like to play freestyle. Like today I go on the court. If I don’t have a plan, then I do whatever I can. When the ball come, I decide at the last moment where to hit, so sometime the girls say, oh, I don’t know where she hit. But sometimes I don’t know where I hit, too.’
“It was 5-5, 40-15 for her, and I was just trying to not thinking about the score, because I know that I can fight,” said Kerber. “I know that I can come back. I was just trying to playing until the last point.
“I think the fight was also very important for me today.
“I think that (running) was the key at the end that I really could run forever, and I was feeling that I was running from the first point until the last point. A lot of meters, actually.
“But, yeah, I think she played amazing match and it’s always tricky to play against her. I played once against her like few years ago. Yeah, how she played today was really good. Actually, I’m really happy about how I was able to change the match and turn around and playing, then, good tennis again in important moments, especially in the third set.”
The 2016 champion Kerber, seeded 21st, will face 17th seed Madison Keys in her quarterfinal. Key is back in the elite eight after a dominant 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 8 Caroline Garcia.
“It will be completely different than today.” said Kerber. “I know what to expect. I know she’s a hard hitter and has a great serve, and then the next few points, balls.
“But, you know, right now I not thinking too much about the next match. I will just try, yeah, enjoy the moment now and then tomorrow I will get ready for Madison then.”
“I think she’s always tough to play,” said Keys about her matchup with Kerber. “She obviously is a great tennis player. She’s been No. 1 in the world and won slams. I think she has an ability to cover the court and anticipate like really no one else does, so for me it’s having to play aggressive but also consistently aggressive, because I know she’s going to make three more balls than other girls may be able to get to.
“So it’s not feeling rushed and that I have to go for something crazy big on the first one and just really work the point.”
The American who has not dropped a set this fortnight, is returning to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.
“I definitely realize how much l love it and how much pressure I put on myself,” she said. “Just being really happy to be back out here and not at home in a cast.”
Top seed Simona Halep beat Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-2 to move into the final eight. In the third round Halep saved three match points to win 15-13 in the final set.
“I was way better match today. I’m really happy that I could find the rhythm back because is not easy when you are very tired. But I knew what I have to do, and I did it very well.”
“About the game, I moved her. I stayed there. I tried just not to miss that much. I tried also to push her back, which I did. She couldn’t dominate the game. I did, I dominated. I went to the net a lot. I finished the point when I felt that it’s time.”
More to follow….