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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday June 21, 2019

Angelique Kerber is playing the part of a defending Wimbledon champion in Mallorca. The German powered past Caroline Garcia 6-3 7-6(5) on Friday to set a semi-final clash with Belinda Bencic.

Kerber now owns a 66-24 lifetime record on grass and it’s no secret that the surface suits her counterpunching game style. Kerber has now won 10 straight on grass, and 13 of 14, but she was tested by last week’s Nottingham champion on Friday. Kerber cracked 23 winners against 13 unforced errors to improve to 6-2 against the Frenchwoman.

Kerber broke twice in the opener and did not face a break point.

In the second set Garcia broke for 3-2 but was broken immediately back. Kerber then led 5-3 and served for the match but Garcia struck back and forced a breaker.

The World No.23 held a 5-2 lead in the second-set breaker before Kerber surged to life and took the final five games to clinch the victory in one hour and 35 minutes.

Bencic made short work of Amanda Anisimova earlier in the day. The Swiss was aggressive and cut off the angle on short balls whenever she could, forcing the American to go for more winners.

Bencic broke six times on 11 opportunities.

The other semi-final in Mallorca will feature red-hot Anastasija Sevastova and Sofia Kenin. Sevastova improved to 16-2 lifetime at Mallorca with a 6-2 6-1 victory over Wang Yafan, while Kenin slid past Elise Mertens 1-6 6-1 6-3.

Sevastova has made the final in all three installments of the Mallorca Open, and claimed the title in 2017.


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