Kerber swats aside Halep to reach Eastbourne semi-finals

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Angelique Kerber’s Wimbledon preparation gained momentum as she thumped Simona Halep 6-4 6-3 in a battle of former world number ones to reach the semi-finals at Eastbourne on Thursday.

The Wimbledon champion converted five out of seven break points to secure the win and set up a last-four clash with Ons Jabeur.

Unseeded Tunisian Jabeur was made to work hard for a victory over Alize Cornet as she shook off an ankle injury in the final set to prevail 1-6 7-5 6-3.

“At this tournament, I’m the queen of losing the first set and then coming back,” Jabeur, who has rallied back from a set down to win three of her four matches in Eastbourne, said.

“It’s another motivation for me to win, to play better in the second set, but I’m really happy with this win.

“It wasn’t easy at the end, I was scared for my ankle, but hopefully everything will be good. I tried to move better, be better on court, and that helped me regain my shots.”

World number 10 Aryna Sabalenka faces Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in another quarter-final on Thursday while former world number one Karolina Pliskova meets Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.

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