'Confident' Kerber advances to semifinals at Volvo Car Open

Defending champ Kerber advances to semifinals (64).JPG

The green clay is treating 2015 Volvo Car Open champion Angelique Kerber very well in 2016. The defending champ shut down Irina Begu 6-2, 6-3 on Friday afternoon in a match that lasted just over an hour.

It was another quick finish for Kerber who has said over the last two days that she's starting to feel like she did during her championship run in 2015.

Kerber, the overall 1-seed in the tournament, knocked off Lara Arruabarrena in the second round, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (3), and Kristina Kucova in the third round, 6-2, 6-3.

"I think I'm getting used to the clay. And it's great like, yeah, to play good tennis again on clay court," she said. "I have a lot of confident right now, you know. I have good motivation to coming back and playing the next match and taking the challenge."

She faces either 7-seed Sloane Stephens or 14-seed Daria Kasatkina in the semifinals.

Kerber has played Stephens three times and respects her game.

"She's a great player, I know, and I played a few times against her already, so I will just try to go out against her and play a good match," Kerber said.

But Kasatkina is unknown to the defending champion.

"That [would be] our first match. And I actually don't know how she's playing, so that's what I can say now for this moment," Kerber said.

Whoever emerges from the second quarterfinals match, Kerber says she's confident and comfortable with her clay game right now. Over the last few days, Kerber has said she's moving well and getting a good feel for the clay.

Still, she's not sure what the most "Southern" thing about her is.

"I don't know," she said, laughing at the question. "Just -- let's just play. Let's just play."