Kerber advances to Sydney International semifinals

Kerber advances to Sydney International semifinals

"I think it's incredible for Sydney and for Australian tennis - we're gonna have an Aussie in the final, which is awesome", Barty said after her win at the Ken Rosewall Arena.

Kerber, a former No. 1 and the 2016 Australian Open champion, was 4-0 in winning the Hopman Cup and has added four in a row in Sydney en route to the final.

But could it free the world No.42 to produce her best performance at Melbourne Park in years?

Elise Mertens will defend her Hobart International title in the Hobart, Australia, final after eliminating 2015 champion Heather Watson 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 on Friday.

Kerber, who began a year ago as No.1 before finishing at No.22, continued her 2018 resurgence with a thumping 6-3, 6-1 win over Slovakia Dominika Cibulkova.

"I tried to play consistent and aggressive because with Chung, he plays with power, and it's never easy", Ferrer said in a court-side interview. "It's nice to be able to get a lot of matches here and be rewarded with the final".

It's just the beginning of the year. "I was working hard in the last few weeks", Kerber said. "I love playing in Australia, I love playing at home". The other semi-final in Sydney will be an all-Australian affair between Ashleigh Barty and Daria Gavrilova, the former Australian compatriot whose record now stands at 12-1 against fellow Aussies since she took residency Down Under in 2013.

The Queenslander won 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 against a fiery Gavrilova, who struggled to find any consistency with her serve, and who earned a code violation for racquet abuse when frustrations boiled over.

"For us, it's ideal".

"Dash and I know each other very well so hopefully we can play some good tennis".

In the men's draw, Alex De Minaur ensured there would be an Australian in both finals as he came from a set down to beat Benoit Paire.

A former finalist, she lost to qualifier Pironkova in 2014, Kerber could become the first German to win the title in Sydney as Bunge and Huber, the only other compatriots to reach the final here, were runner up in 1979 and 1993.

2016 champion Bautista Agut defeated Czech Jiri Vesely 7-6 (1), 6-2 in the last eight while Hasse beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 6-4, 6-4.

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