Kerber stands in Barty’s way again in Wimbledon semis

Wimbledon, Jul 08 (AP): In some ways, Ash Barty’s rise to No. 1 in the women’s rankings can be traced back to a loss to Angelique Kerber three years ago.
Playing her first final in her native Australia, Barty was beaten in straight sets by Kerber in the 2018 Sydney International and came away with a new understanding of what it takes to get to the top.
I remember coming off the court and feeling like my level was close, but it wasn’t good enough, Barty said.
That was almost a bit of a reset knowing I’m not far off, but I’m not there yet.
Now Barty is not far off her first Wimbledon title. But not there yet, as Kerber once again stands in her way in Thursday’s semifinals.
I think the challenge of playing her in a semifinal of Wimbledon is an incredible opportunity, one that I’m really excited for, said Barty, who won her only Grand Slam title at the 2019 French Open. It’s not scary or overwhelming, it’s just exciting.
Kerber is the only former women’s champion remaining in the tournament. The other two semifinalists, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka and Karolina Pliskova, are into the last four for the first time at the All England Club.
The 33-year-old Kerber is only seeded 25th at Wimbledon but seems to have rediscovered her best grass-court form after winning a warmup tournament in Bad Homburg, Germany. She has a 2-2 career record against Barty, but their last meeting came in 2018 and they have never played on grass. Kerber thinks the fact that her name is already on the Wimbledon trophy could give her an advantage.
Of course, it’s a good feeling already to have the trophy at home and to (have) won it here, she said.
Now I’m back. I’m coming after a really tough time. I was not playing good the last few months. Now, winning last week a tournament at home, now playing well here again, that means a lot to me.
Barty, for her part, has never even had a good look at the Venus Rosewater Dish, as the women’s trophy is called.
I think it’s downstairs in like a case before the court entrance, Barty said after her quarterfinal win over fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.
I can’t say that I’ve gone up and kind of peered in. Maybe one day I’ll get an opportunity to look at it.

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