Angelique Kerber comes through unscathed against Hsieh Su-wei

Title favourite withstood the challenge and continued her march towards the final

Angelique Kerber plays a return against Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei during their women’s singles fourth round match on day eight of the Australian Open. Photo: William West/Getty Images

Angelique Kerber plays a return against Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei during their women’s singles fourth round match on day eight of the Australian Open. Photo: William West/Getty Images

 

Title favourite Angelique Kerber withstood the unique challenge of Hsieh Su-wei to move into the Australian Open quarter-finals.

Hsieh plays a completely different game from most of her rivals, relying not on power but a mixture of spins and slices and ball placement that bamboozle opponents and frequently drive them to distraction.

Her scalps in Melbourne had already included Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and Agnieszka Radwanska, and for a long time it looked like Kerber might join them.

But the German has a deep well of confidence after her unbeaten start to the season and kept her composure to turn the match around and win 4-6 7-5 6-2.

The 2016 champion seemed close to losing it as Hsieh continued to spin her magic late in the second set, and the Kerber of last year would surely have crumbled.

But this is a different model and she let out a huge scream of joy and relief after sending a forehand winner down the line to level the match before racing quickly through the decider.

In the last eight Kerber will face US Open finalist Madison Keys, who has played superbly so far this fortnight and blasted her way past eighth seed Caroline Garcia, winning 6-3 6-2.

Keys, who hit 32 winners compared to just nine for her opponent, said: “I’m feeling really good. I feel like I’m playing just solid, consistent tennis. I think today was a good example of that. I served well. I returned well. But I don’t think I played unbelievable. I think I just played really solid and smart.”

The 22-year-old has long been marked out as a potential grand slam winner but her first final experience in New York last summer was something of a horror show as she won just three games against friend Sloane Stephens.

“To have such a great two weeks and then have it end the way that it did, it was really devastating for me, so it definitely took some time to get over,” said Keys.

“More than that, it was realising that it was so unexpected, and I was so happy to even get there in the first place after having such a rough beginning of my season, that after telling myself that a couple of times I definitely finally moved on and just wanted to put myself in the same position again so that maybe I could have a different outcome.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.