Kerber keeps her cool, reaches semis
NEW YORK — At 4-all in the opening set of her U.S. Open quarterfinal Tuesday, Angelique Kerber noticed the loud roar of a jet flying past.
She missed a shot, lost that point, glared overhead — then followed with a trio of unforced errors to get broken. In the past, that sequence might have been her undoing.
Not now. Kerber’s game has improved and so has her attitude. On this afternoon, she wouldn’t drop another game.
Making a push to move up from No. 2 in the rankings and earn a second Grand Slam title in 2016, Kerber moved into the semifinals at Flushing Meadows by taking the last nine games in a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Roberta Vinci, last year’s runner-up.
“I know that I can beat everybody,” Kerber said. “I’m staying more positive and believing in my game, and this is what gives me a lot of confidence and motivation.”
“I was playing better than her,” Vinci said, “(But) in tough moments, the mind is important.”
Kerber has a chance to overtake Serena Williams at No. 1 after the tournament as she reached her third major semifinal of the year, which will be played Thursday against either Caroline Wozniacki or Anastasija Sevastova.
Kerber beat Williams in the Australian Open final in January, then lost to her in the Wimbledon final in July. In 2015, Vinci reached her first major final by ending Williams’ bid for the first calendar-year Grand Slam in tennis in more than 25 years.
In a men’s quarterfinal match, Gael Monfils scored a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Lucas Pouille, the man who eliminated Rafael Nadal in the previous round.
Monfils, who turned 30 last week, only once before made it to a Grand Slam semifinal, 81⁄ years ago in front of a partisan crowd at the French Open. But he has been playing the best tennis of his career lately, winning all 15 sets he’s played during this tournament.
“It’s a court I love,” he said. “I always say that the French is my home, but this one is my second.”
After a slow start Tuesday, Angelique Kerber got on a roll against Roberta Vinci and won their quarterfinal match.