Seventh seed Angelique Kerber earned the first win over former No.1 Victoria Azarenka in emphatic style, winning 6-3, 7-5, to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open tennis tournament here on Wednesday.

“I can’t describe it in words,” she said after winning.

“I was 0-6 before I came here on court, but I was just telling myself, ‘Just play like you play on the practice courts and just go for it, and just believe that you can beat her.’ I’m actually so, so happy that I beat her for the first time!”

Azarenka had looked to be the odds-on favourite to reach a third Australian Open final – having won the title twice before in 2012 and 2013 – but was out of sorts from the start against Kerber, who raced out to a 4-0 lead.

Easing her way back into the match, the Belarusian came close to levelling after winning 11 of 13 points to get one of the breaks back, but Kerber survived a marathon service game to remain in front and break once more to clinch the opening set.

“I was trying to serve very well from the first point, move well, and try to be more aggressive than the last few times I played with her, going for it and waiting for the first shot. It’s just amazing; it was incredible playing here on the centre court.”

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