Angelique Kerber’s Miami Open campaign came to an end on Thursday as she was beaten 6-2, 7-5 by Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals.
Kerber has struggled ever since winning her maiden grand slam title at this year’s Australian Open as she had failed to get past the second round of any tournament until this one.
Kerber and Azarenka began the first set by breaking each other for three consecutive games before Azarenka surged ahead to break Kerber in the fifth and take a 4-1 lead.
The world number eight pressed home her advantage and went on to clinch the first set.
Kerber put up more of a fight in the second set, but even though she and Azarenka broke each other for five straight games, the Belarusian found herself in front 4-3.
The German broke Azarenka in the 10th game to bring herself level at 5-5, but her efforts went in vain as Azarenka broke back the next game before going on to finish off the match.
Azarenka will face Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final after the Russian defeated Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3.
Kuznetsova and Bacsinszky held serve throughout the first set and just when it looked like a tie-break would be needed to separate the duo, Kuznetsova broke the deadlock by breaking the 26-year-old in the 12th game to claim the first set.
Kuznetsova and Bacsinszky broke each other right off the bat to start the second set before the Russian raced ahead to take a 4-2 lead after they broke each other for three successive games. Kuznetsova did not look back from that point and she went on to book her spot in the final.