In-form Kerber reaches semis on home soil

Nurnberg, Germany ( - German crowd favorite Angelique Kerber led the charge into the semifinals at the Nurnberg Cup tennis event, a final clay-court French Open tune-up.

The second-seeded left-hander handled Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi 6-2, 6-3 Thursday at Tennis-Club 1.FC Nurnberg.

Kerber is seeking her third clay-court title of 2015, having already prevailed in Charleston and Stuttgart. Her semifinal opponent on Friday will be fourth- seeded Italian Roberta Vinci, who also bested a Japanese opponent in her quarterfinal, seventh-seeded Kurumi Nara, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.

The other semi will pit sixth-seeded Italian Karin Knapp versus Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena. Knapp got past Russian qualifier Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 6-4, while Arruabarrena upended eighth-seeded German Carina Witthoeft 6-0, 6-4 on Day 5.