Kerber positive after narrow semifinal loss to Halep

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first_imgGermany’s Angelique Kerber rests on the court after winning a point against Romania’s Simona Halep during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)MELBOURNE, Australia — No shame. It’s the simple summary of Angelique Kerber’s bid for a second Australian Open women’s singles title.Kerber’s competitive qualities almost compensated for that sinking feeling after succumbing 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 to top-seeded Simona Halep in a gripping semifinal struggle.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers The 2016 champion didn’t lose the match — she forced Halep to win it after a gritty comeback so nearly launched the German lefthander into another Saturday night final at Melbourne Park.And this comeback after being down a set and a break wasn’t manufactured against some ranking underling. It was a sustained counter-offensive against the No. 1-player seemingly in total control of the contest.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“My heart was on the court, that’s the most important thing for me,” Kerber said. “Of course, I’m a little bit sad, but I’ll go with a good feeling back home.”Even when Halep served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, Kerber refused to yield and then saved two match points on serve in the 10th game to level the heavy-hitting duel. “Looking back if someone told me I would win so many matches, win a title and get to the semifinals here, I will take all the positive things from the last few weeks and keep looking forward,” she said. “I can play big matches in front of big crowds and my heart is there and I’m enjoying every moment.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments Such was Kerber’s zest to keep the match alive that she eventually saved 13 of 22 break points on serve. She took advantage of every one of her seven breakpoint opportunities, including three in the third set, to maintain the pressure. And she made 16 fewer unforced errors. But the crushing weight of serving second in the tense third set just to stay alive eventually took its toll.While Kerber rued the two squandered match points when serving for the match at 6-5, it seems she’s back on track after the 2017 form slump when she reached only one singles final and slid from No. 1 to a year-end No. 21 ranking.Of those match points, Kerber said: “She played good, I could do nothing. I tried my best in the moment and she won those points.”It was Kerber’s first loss after a string of 14 singles victories in Australia this month — four at the Hopman Cup in Perth, five to sweep to the title at the Sydney International and five in the impressive run to the last four in Melbourne.She was the last major winner still in contention in the women’s draw after she beat Maria Sharapova in the third round.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Hyeon Chung’s profile on rise with Aussie Open breakthrough LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PHlast_img

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