Azarenka to return to top five

Published by AP

Victoria Azarenka celebrates a winning point during her quarterfinal triumph over Johanna Konta at the Miami Open; Getty Images

Victoria Azarenka advanced to the semifinals of the Miami Open by beating Johanna Konta 6-4 6-2 on Wednesday.

Azarenka, who won the tournament in 2009 and 2011, will next play Angelique Kerber, who overcame an error-prone Madison Keys – the lone remaining American in either draw – by a scoreline of 6-3 6-2.

Azarenka, seeded 13th, improved to 20-1 this year. She’s trying to become just the third woman to win Indian Wells and Key Biscayne back-to-back in the same year, a feat achieved only by Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters.

She is projected to return to the top five when next week’s WTA rankings are released, leapfrogging current world No.5 Simona Halep.

Against the 24th-seeded Australian-born Briton Konta, Azarenka never lost serve and committed just 14 unforced errors.

In their last meeting, Kerber stunned the in-form Azarenka – who a fortnight earlier had trounced Kerber in the Brisbane International final – en route to her first Grand Slam victory at the Australian Open.

It was Kerber’s first victory over Azarenka in seven attempts.

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