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Stuttgart. Angelique Kerber today stormed into the semifinals of the 38th Porsche Tennis Grand Prix with a straight sets win against the Russian Ekaterina Makarova. On Saturday, the Porsche Brand Ambassador and Porsche Team Germany player will now meet American Madison Brengle. The second semifinal will be between Romanian Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark.

There was loud murmuring amongst the capacity Porsche Arena crowd when Angelique Kerber walked on court one day after her brilliant performance against Maria Sharapova. She was able to calm the fans’ fears ahead of the first rally in the match against Ekaterina Makarova. “I’m fit and am really enjoying my tennis again,” she said, “The bandage is just a precautionary measure.” The much-improved Russian was soon 3-0 up but then Angelique Kerber got into her stride. The 27-year old proceeded to win seven games in row. Her oppo-nent only stopped the rot by drawing level at 1-1 in the second set. However the world No. 8 from Moscow never had a real chance. Supported by the enthusiastic crowd, Angelique Ker-ber regained control with her powerful game and closed out the match after exactly one hour with her second match point.

“It is not so easy following up such a great performance like the one against Maria but I reckon I was pretty successful today,” she said. “I’m having great fun again and am enjoying every minute on court. Since winning in Charleston, I’m back playing with the passion that was always a feature of my game. But I’ve still got a job to do in Stuttgart.” She has not yet played Madison Brengle and the match against the world No. 43 is not one she will be taking lightly. “She’s a very talented young player,” said Angelique Kerber. “It’s not going to be a stroll in the park“

The first player to book her ticket to the semifinal was Simona Halep when beating Sara Er-rani from Italy 6-4, 6-4. The number two-seeded Romanian, who this year has won the WTA tournaments in Shenzhen, Dubai and Indian Wells, was more or less in control throughout the match and did not let anything disturb her concentration. Thinking she had won the match on her second match point after Sara Errani’s return was called out, with a slight shrug of the shoulders she nevertheless remained calm when the umpire ruled the ball had hit the line. “I forgot the point quickly,” she said and, “immediately started focussing on my return.” Shortly afterwards she converted her fourth match point to advance.

Simona Halep will now meet Caroline Wozniacki in the first semifinal on Saturday. The Dane beat Carla Suarez Navarro from Spain 6-0, 6-3 and was able to take revenge for her first round defeat at the 2013 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. “Though clay is not my best surface, I was moving very well today,” said the world No. 5. She however has a negative head-to head record against Simona Halep. Two of the three matches they have played have gone the Romanian’s way – the most recent came in Dubai in February. The semifinal in Stuttgart will be the first time they have faced each other on clay.

As for the German doubles pairing of Sabine Lisicki/Julia Görges, the tournament came to an end on Friday. Despite having a match point in the championship tie-break, the Porsche Team Germany players were narrowly beaten 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 by Croatian Petra Martic and Stephanie Vogt from Liechtenstein.

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