LONDON, Great Britain - No.11 seed Angelique Kerber is through to her fourth Wimbledon quarterfinal in seven years after defeating the resurgent Belinda Bencic in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.
Kerber came into the match seeking to break a dismal streak against Bencic - the German had lost in straight sets in all three of their previous encounters, and she knew to expect a tough battle from the 21-year-old.
“It was not so easy, especially because I know she's playing very well on grass,” Kerber said afterwards. “She beat me always in the top matches. Today I was just trying to being aggressive.
“She played well, especially when she was down. She came back in the second set. She had set points. I'm coming back, so it was a little bit of up and downs in the second set. I'm happy that I'm through in two sets.”
At World No.10, Kerber is the highest-ranked player left in the draw, and the two-time Grand Slam champion drew from her long experience to recover emphatically after falling behind a break 1-3. Kerber weathered everything Bencic threw her way and punished every short ball as she reeled off five games in a row to grab the set with a triple break.
She faced a bit more resistance in the second set as Bencic found her game and variety to break straight back against Kerber and hold serve to even up the match at 3-3. The pair traded breaks once more with Bencic holding five set points at 5-4 when Kerber level proceedings. They marched into the tiebreak, where the German pulled ahead to take the match after an hour and 50 minutes.
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Up next Kerber will play No.14 seed Daria Kasatkina for a spot in the semifinals - the Russian took down Alison Van Uytvanck after coming back from a set down, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2.
“I think it will be another tricky match,” Kerber said. “She played very well in the last months. We played so many battles also this year against each other.
“I know what to expect. I know she knows how to play on grass, as well. She knows where the ball has to go. I think I will just trying to play like I played the last days. It's a new day, it's a new match, and everything starts from zero tomorrow again.”