Kasatkina trounces Kerber to reach Indian Wells semis

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Indian Wells (US), March 16 (IANS) Russia’s Daria Kasatkina pulled off one of the biggest surprises of this year’s BNP Paribas Open, brushing aside an out-of-sorts Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of this WTA hard-court tennis event here.

The 19th-ranked Kasatkina was the more aggressive of the two players and by far the more consistent, with the 10th-ranked German hurting her cause with an uncharacteristically high number of unforced errors on Thursday, reports Efe.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the 20-year-old Russian, who is not known as a big server, did not face a single break point against a two-time Grand Slam champion who is one of the best returners and defenders in women’s tennis.

Thursday’s victory was Kasatkina’s third straight over a top-15 player at Indian Wells. Earlier in the week, she defeated 13th-ranked American Sloane Stephens and Danish world No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki.

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Next up for her in Friday’s semi-finals will be American Venus Williams.

The BNP Paribas Open is one of the WTA’s four Premier Mandatory events, which each offer $4.5 million in total prize money and are among the biggest tournaments on the annual calendar.

–IANS

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