Azarenka downs Konta in Miami quarters

Victoria Azarenka beat Britain’s Johanna Konta in windy conditions to reach the semi-finals of the Miami Open on Wednesday.

The 13th seed from Belarus was made to work hard in the first set before getting past the 24th seeded Konta 6-4, 6-2 and will next face second seed Angelique Kerber in the semi-final, after the German cruised past American 22nd seed Madison Keys 6-3, 6-2.

In a tight opening set, Azarenka got the only break of serve in the seventh game and kept holding her serve to eventually take the set 6-4 in 58 minutes.

The second set was an easier affair for Azarenka as she broke serve twice in the third and fifth games to run out the winner.

“She’s such a great player,” Azarenka told ESPN afterwards. “I see a lot of potential.

“I couldn’t actually get a read on her serve in the beginning – it was tough for me to adjust – but then I got a bit lower and tried to get more returns in, be a bit more aggressive.”

This was Konta’s first quarter-final appearance in a WTA Premier event and said afterwards that she was happy with the way she played.

“I’m happy with the level I was able to bring to the court,” Konta told the BBC. “Obviously, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t have done a little bit better but I’m taking the positives from it.”

The other semi-final sees Russian 15th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova up against 19th seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland.