Former World No.1 Venus Williams put on a vintage display to shock top seed Angelique Kerber in the last of the quarterfinal battles at the Miami Open.
WTA Staff

MIAMI, FL, USA - Former World No.1 Venus Williams played stellar tennis from start to finish to upset top-ranked Angelique Kerber, 7-5, 6-3, to reach the semifinals of the Miami Open.

"It was an interesting match," she said in her press conference. "I was controlling it. I had more errors than I like and lower first serve percentage than I would like. For me, I'm looking at it from a standpoint of how can I get better.

"I have to play well against the No. 1 in the world. She's on top of her game and she played well, so I had to find a way to play a little better."

Williams and Kerber last played in the semifinals of Wimbledon last summer, where the German won in straight sets, and appeared on course for a similar decision at the start as she broke to open the match.

But Venus employed a hyper-aggressive gameplan throughout the one hour and 39 minute match, striking crisp groundstrokes and finishing quite a few points at the net to stay ahead of last year's Australian Open and US Open champion.

Kerber tried to find her way back in the second set, staying within one break and saving four match points - three with searing forehand winners - but Venus ultimately proved too strong, striking 32 winners to 27 from the German.

"She was really aggressive from the beginning, and was hitting the balls really hard," Kerber said after the match. "I think I didn't move too well today, and made a lot of mistakes, which isn't normal for my game. It wasn't my best game, but she deserved to win because she played really well tonight.

"This wasn't the best start I would have wished for," she added of her season, "but it's not a drama because I'm still playing good and winning matches. I'm looking forward to playing again."

Up next for the American is British No.1 Johanna Konta, who enjoyed a comeback win over No.3 seed Simona Halep earlier on Wednesday.

"She played well, served well," Venus said of their last meeting, which Konta won in the Bank of the West Classic final. "Tomorrow is an opportunity for me to come out and play hopefully better than today. There are a few things I would like to work on. Outside of that, just come out fresh eyes, fresh feet, and big shots.

"That's my plan."

Someone particularly proud of Venus tweeted her support after the match; it was none other than little sister and 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams: