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Kerber - Konta set-up unlikely Australian Open semi-final

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German youngster Angelique Kerber, the highest seed left in the bottom half of the women's draw stayed on course for making her first ever Grand Slam final, stunning 2-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the semi-finals at Melbourne Park.

The match itself was anything but straight forward with Kerber, a runner-up to Azarenka at Brisbane a week before the Australian Open started, racing away to a 4-0 lead in the first set on the back of some fabulous stroke play from the back of the net.

Kerber's all guns blazing approach was never going to last, with Azarenka breaking back to narrow the deficit, but the German held her nerve to close out the opening set 6-3.

The second set was all Azarenka in the early going with the former champion opening up a 5-2 lead, and going ahead 40-0 on her serve, making it rather certain that this match was going to go the distance, before a phenomenal collapse saw her lose not just those set points, but 5 games in a row as Kerber booked her place in the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time in her career.

And Kerber will be the favourite to go one better when she squares off against Sydney-born Brit Johanna Konta, a 6-4, 6-1 winner of sentimental favourite Shaui Zhang of China.

Zhang, playing in her 28th Grand Slam, won a match in the main draw for the first time in her career last week, and then went on to win 3 more to reach her maiden Grand Slam quarter-final. Konta's position while not identical, was similar as she was also playing in her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final, and the duo battled their early nerves with Konta getting the better of Zhang in a tightly contested first set.

Zhang, who had played all her matches thus far anywhere but Rod Laver Arena, struggled to cope with the pressure and wilted away in the second set, going down rather tamely in the end.

Kerber and Konta have never really played each other before, but the 7th seeded German left-hander will be the overwhelming favourite to win that match when they square off tomorrow.

The other semi-final will see world no.1 Serena Williams take on the no.4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska.