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Venus can reach semis by ousting world number one

Angelique Kerber has not had everything her own way this season following her annus mirabilis in 2016 and the German could find a highly focused Venus Williams a tough opponent to dismiss in their Miami Open quarter-final clash.

Since winning the Australian and US Open crowns last season, Kerber lost her Melbourne Park title and, briefly, her world number one ranking, both to Serena Williams.

The German has returned to the top of the tree because of Serena’s withdrawal from Indian Wells and Miami. But while Kerber remains one of the foremost forces on hard courts on the WTA Tour, even she may find it difficult to dominate Venus Williams at a venue where she had captured her third title by 1999.

Venus, who ousted Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 7-6 in the last 16, knows full well how good it would look to have her name on the trophy, or if not the list of finalists, at Key Biscayne again and is giving it everything she’s got.

If there were question marks about what Venus could or could not achieve prior to the Australian Open, then the elder of the two sisters answered them by over­coming sweltering on-court temperatures to reach the Melbourne Park final in January.

Nothing this season should now come as a surprise to punters who either support or take on Venus.

She probably was not too fussed by not going all the way in Indian Wells, a venue she and her sibling boycotted for many years. But Miami is a different story.

Venus is 6-5 to defeat Kerber and while it could be close, punters at least know the American will be giving her absolute all in search of victory.

Johanna Konta meets Simona Halep in the other last-eight clash and while the Brit is making strides, the Romanian is playing well so it could be close.


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