Angelique Kerber happy with Eastbourne stay


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Angelique Kerber says she is happy to be in the quieter surroundings of Eastbourne as she prepares to defend her Wimbledon title.

The German continued her impressive form on a return to grass court tennis, easing through to the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International after beating Simona Halep in straight sets. Kerber won 6-4 6-3, as she continued her preparations for a return to the All England Club next week.

Kerber has a good record on grass, reaching the finals at Eastbourne twice, in 2012 and 2014, and she will bid for a third when she meets unseeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the semi-finals on Friday. She is 1.13 to win with Jabeur 6.00.

The German was always in control against Halep, attacking the Romanian’s serve and going a double-break up for a 4-1 lead in the first set. Halep did get one of the breaks back but Kerber served for the set and took it 6-4. Halep, French Open champion last year, demonstrated her resilience, keeping in the match in both sets but was ultimately left to concentrate on Wimbledon.

Kerber meanwhile stays in Eastbourne a little longer and she is enjoying the tournament and the relative quiet away from London. She said of the quarter-final victory: “It’s never easy to play Simona, but I played really well from the first point today, especially in important moments.

“I was hitting the ball good, really deep, and moving well. It was quite a good match from my side. “It’s better to be here (this week). It’s a little bit quieter than Wimbledon right now, so I prefer to stay here a little bit longer.”

Kerber, who beat Serena Williams in last year’s Wimbledon final, is fifth seed this year with new world number one Ashleigh Barty the top seed.

Kerber is at 1.95 to win the Eastbourne International with Karolina Pliskova, in the other semi-final against Kiki Bertens, 3.00.

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