Number eight seed Angelique Kerber defeated Venus Williams in straight sets 7-6(3), 6-3 on Thursday (local time) to make the final four at the Paribas Open for the third time in her career.
"Today I think [Williams] played really tricky, but in a good way, it was really hard for me to play my game, also with changing the rhythm and everything," Women's Tennis Association quoted Kerber as saying.
The reigning Wimbledon champion Kerber had won five of her previous eight meetings with Williams.
"I was really trying, in the first set especially, to find my rhythm and play my tennis, but it was not so easy, and, to play against Venus, it is always tough. I know this. I was expecting a tough match. I am happy that I won the first set and then could move in and play a little bit better [in the second set.]," Kerber said.
Kerber had a strong day on return, garnering 16 out of the American's 26-second service points. Williams showed glimpses of strong play but she never got her trademark serve to click, firing just a single ace in the clash. Angelique Kerber will now take on Belinda Bencic in the semi-finals of Paribas Open on Friday (local time).