Serena Williams game to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam championships was brought to a trembling end in dramatic style on Wednesday by Karolina Pliskova. Karolina Pliskova will go on to face Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
The American best had won against the world’s number one Simona Halep in the fourth round, nonetheless folded against Czech seventh seed, who had four match points before going to win 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 under the burning Melbourne sun.
It was an upsetting defeat for the 37-year-old, who had fought back from a set down and was ahead with 5-1 in the third and serving for the match. Only to lose with poor serving and wild shots as frustrations took place. Since her return last year from giving birth, Serena Williams made four ineffective attempts to the match Court’s record, and the wait goes on with the French Open in May her next chance.
“She played very well. Particularly at the end of her second set she went for her best shots and she was very hostile,” said Pliskova after having deprived Serena of the US Open final replay with Osaka.
“I played passively. I was nearly in the locker-room but now I am here as a winner. It is a good feeling.”
This is Pliskova’s third semi-final at a major and she made the last four at Roland Garros back in 2017 and the US Open where she won against Williams before losing the final game to Angelique Kerber.
An absorbed Osaka cruelly brushed past Ukraine’s Svitolina, who had neck and shoulder glitches, in her effort to win back-to-back Grand Slams. The Ukrainian needed a more similar medical timeout during her third match, however, it was, however, a thoughtful statement from the steely-eyed Osaka, who played the sort of tennis that got her the US Open title.
“I tried to be reliable, it’s unlucky that she got hurt but playing against her when she was hurt was still tough,”
The win has ensured that she turns into the first Japanese female in the last four at the Melbourne Park since Kimiko Date in 1994. Novak Djokovic starts his quest for the seventh Australian Open title against Japanese marathon man Kei Nishikori.
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