Published: Sun, January 22, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Insider Analysis: Three Things From Vandeweghe's Oz Upset Over Kerber

Insider Analysis: Three Things From Vandeweghe's Oz Upset Over Kerber

The German, defending a Grand Slam title for the first time, had no answers to the big-hitting American who powered past her 6-2, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena to make the quarter-finals in one of the biggest wins of her career. The American is into her second Slam quarterfinal after scoring strong wins over Roberta Vinci, Pauline Parmentier, Eugenie Bouchard, and now Kerber.

Vandeweghe, who made the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2015 but had never been past the third round in Melbourne, now faces unsafe seventh seed Garbine Muguruza for a place in the last four.

Williams, a seven-time major victor, raced out to a 3-0 lead but No 181-ranked Barthel fought back with the American having trouble with her ball toss in the sun. And the same court saw Kerber, who beat Serena Williams in the final past year, also drop out of the tournament in the fourth round.

Ranked 35th in the world, the American lost in the first round here 12 months ago, just as Kerber was beginning her path to become champion.

She wasn't overawed by a packed crowd on Rod Laver Arena, easily holding serve and troubling the left-hander by cranking big backhand and forehands from the baseline.

But Vandeweghe hit back at the midpoint of the set, flicking a superb forehand victor down the line to bring up three break points at 3-2 and converting the first off another weak second serve from the German, who has struggled to recapture her 2016 form at the start of this season. I take it as a practice for the next match. "I faked it a lot, because I was feeling a bit crap out there".

"Definitely. I want to do my first semi-finals of a grand slam or maybe a final, I would love to", said the Moscow-based player.

"It was not my day and not my match, for sure. It was not my day", she said.

Hitting 30 winners to seven, the 25-year-old completely exasperated Kerber, who was powerless and showed it.

"We're two totally opposite players", Vandeweghe said. But there's no denying that Vandeweghe talks as big of a game as she plays and that swagger seems to translate into tremendous clarity on court. "I just had to pick my spots and trust my game".

The world No 35 smashed a backhand crosscourt victor to take the single break of serve she needed to claim the opening set in 33 minutes.

"I think it's my first win over a world No. 1 I guess". "And especially at a Grand Slam, I think it makes it that much sweeter". Vandeweghe heads into the match with a 2-1 head-to-head lead over the Spaniard, but lost their most recent meeting past year in Cincinnati in straight sets. "She can play very well".

"This was a very important match for me because it was my third time in the round of 16 and I had never gone through before", she said.

But the fiercely competitive American was full of confidence after ending the campaign of Canadian comeback queen Eugenie Bouchard in round three.

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