Angelique Kerber powers past Simona Halep as Karolina Pliskova also advances

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber proved too good for Simona Halep in the quarter-final of the Nature Valley International while Karolina Pliskova set up a semi-final clash against Kiki Bertens.

Fourth seed Kerber broke twice in the first set and three times in the second en route to a 6-4, 6-3 win, although fifth seed Halep also managed to break once in each set.

The German will take on the unseeded Ons Jabeur for a place in the final after the Tunisian beat Alice Cornet 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

The other semi-final will be a mouth-watering match between second seed Pliskova and third seed Bertens.

Former world No 1 Pliskova was in devastating form as she dropped only two games against Ekaterina Alexandrova, beating the Russian 6-2, 6-0.

“I think it’s tough because I can serve well,” Pliskova said. “It’s about couple points. If you don’t do well, then I can just really, not kill you every time, but I can just hold my serve sometimes easier… I can also serve breakpoints down.

“So it’s tough. And then I think more mentally it’s tough that they just, I don’t know, try to play too much, I feel like. And I don’t mind this game: then there is too much mistakes from them.”

Bertens had a longer battle on her hands as she was taken the distance by eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

“I like it when someone’s playing powerful, and then I can just use the slice a little bit more. I don’t have to put so much power in myself,” Bertens said.

“I think today I had the right balance, like, where I could hit the slice or where I could play a little bit more aggressive myself. So I think the balance was there again today.”

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