A highly intriguing semi-final contest is scheduled to take place on Friday afternoon in Eastbourne, as top competitors Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki cross paths for an eighth time on the professional tour. Kerber leads the head-to-head series 4-3, including the most recent win last year in Tokyo. This marks the first tie they will meet on grass.
In one of the best performances this week, Germany’s Angelique Kerber defeated likely the most formidable unseeded player in the tournament in Ekaterina Makarova on Thursday afternoon. Makarova, the 2010 champion in Eastbourne, has proven to be a tough competitor on the grass courts in England but ultimately could not handle Kerber’s form and eventually succumbed in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.
The result of this match was far from pre-determined, as Makarova was tied in the series with Kerber 4-4, including a 2-2 record on grass. While Thursday’s scoreline may paint a different picture, this was not intended to be an easy contest for the German.
“It was not as easy as the score says, because there were tough rallies, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy before the match because we’d had a lot of close matches in the past,” Kerber said. “She’s a great player on grass, so I was just focusing on me, trying to be aggressive and taking my chances.”
Kerber hit 65% of her first service points, converted 6 break point chances and saved 4/5 of the ones she faced on her serve to earn the win in just four minutes over an hour of on-court time.
“I like to play on grass. That’s why I’m playing the week before Wimbledon, to have some more good matches on grass. I have great memories from Eastbourne, so I’m happy to come back and play here.”
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki faced a much tougher quarter-final match in Eastbourne, as she was forced to rally from a set down to defeat the giant-slaying Camila Giorgi 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. The win sets up a semi-final clash with Kerber, which will be a much-anticipated clash ahead of Wimbledon.
This is the eighth time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Kerber leading the series 4-3. Out of their seven matches, only two have gone the distance (tied 1-1) while the remaining contests were straight set wins. While they faced each other on three different surfaces, including indoor hard, this is their first meeting on grass. Considering both players have done well so far this week, this is a tough match to gauge. It will likely come down to the better performer on that occasion, which will likely be Kerber, who is more consistent so far this season.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber in Three Sets