• After taking the first set 6-3, Angelique Kerber was 5-2 down in the second
  • But she won five games in a row to defeat Victoria Azarenka in Australia
  • Kerber will face either Johanna Konta or Zhang Shuai in the semi-final

Stuart Fraser for MailOnline

Angelique Kerber booked a place in her first ever Australian Open semi-final with a fearless straight-sets victory against Victoria Azarenka. 

Kerber had lost all six of her previous meetings against two-time Melbourne champion Azarenka but her aggressive play ended the hoodoo with a 6-3, 7-5 victory.

The German seventh seed said: ‘I was 0-6 before I came here on court and I was just saying to myself, “just play like you play on the practice courts, just go for it”. 

Angelique Kerber beat Victoria Azarenka for the first time to reach the Australian Open semi-final

Angelique Kerber beat Victoria Azarenka for the first time to reach the Australian Open semi-final

Kerber won five games straight in the second set to stun Azarenka in the quarter-final in Melbourne

Kerber won five games straight in the second set to stun Azarenka in the quarter-final in Melbourne

It was a frustrating exit for Azarenka, who was in command of the second set before hitting reverse

It was a frustrating exit for Azarenka, who was in command of the second set before hitting reverse

‘I am so happy I beat her for the first time. It’s an amazing feeling to be in the semi-finals right now.’

Kerber raced out of the blocks to take a 4-0 lead and then closed out the first set – it was the first time that on-form Azarenka had lost a set this year.

Azarenka hit back in the second set and brought up three set points as she served for it at 5-2, 40-0. 

But Kerber saved all three and then another two as her attacking play helped her reel off five straight games for the victory, which ended with Azarenka failing to return a cross-court pass.

Kerber said: ‘I was more aggressive when it was 2-5 [in the second set]. I was telling myself just to forget the score, just go for it and try to play the best that I can play today.’

Kerber raced out of the blocks to take a 4-0 lead and then closed out the first set against Azarenka

Kerber raced out of the blocks to take a 4-0 lead and then closed out the first set against Azarenka

Kerber said it is 'an amazing feeling to be in the semi-finals' after beating Azarenka for the first time

Kerber said it is ‘an amazing feeling to be in the semi-finals’ after beating Azarenka for the first time

After coming back from match point down in the first round against Misaki Doi, Kerber now has a big opportunity to reach her first Grand Slam final, taking on Great Britain’s Johanna Konta in the last-four.

Kerber said: ‘In the first match I was match point down, now I am in the semis. I will just enjoy the semis and try to play good.’ 

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