Sat, 09 Dec 2023

Melbourne [Australia], January 25 (ANI): Poland's Magda Linette continued her career-best run at a grand slam event as she stunned the former world number 1 Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic to reach the first-ever semifinal of a major tournament in her career.

Magda downed Pliskova by 6-3, 7-5. The world number 45 sent shockwaves in Rod Laver Arena by defeating the number 30 seed Pliskova in just 87 minutes to keep the Polish representation in the tournament going after current world number 1 Iga Swiatek crashed out in the round of 16.

Before this, she had never progressed beyond the third round of any major tournament and had last at that stage six times.

"Maybe I still do not really believe it," Linette said with a smile in her post-match press conference as quoted by WTA.

Pliskova became the fourth straight consecutive seeded victim as the Polish had already beaten three Top 20 seeds in the Number 16 Anett Kontaveit, Number 19 Ekaterina Alexandrova and Number 4 Caroline Garcia to become the ninth-oldest woman in Open Era to reach a debut grand slam quarterfinal.

She is the third Polish woman in Open Era to make it to the Australian Open semifinals, besides Swiatek and former world number 2 Agnieszka Radwanska.

Linette matched her opponent in terms of winners, 18 each and kept her unforced error count at 16. On the other hand, Pliskova committed 36 unforced errors in clash.

"I think I did really well not to panic and still stay in the rally and go for the shots when I had the chance," Linette said, regarding the keys to her win.

"That was, I think, something I did the best," she added.

In the semifinal, Linette will be facing fifth-seeded player Aryna Sabalenka. The winner of the match will be reaching their first-ever Grand Slam final.

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka stormed into the semifinals after a 10-year gap, defeating No.3 seed Jessica Pegula here at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

The two-time Australian Open champion produced a stunning performance to book a place in the semifinals, beating Pegula 6-4, 6-1 in a match that lasted for one hour and 37 minutes. Azarenka will next face Elena Rybakina in Thursday's semifinals."I will say she plays quite simple, which is I would say is a compliment. It's quite easy to be flashy. Not easy, but it's easier to just go overboard. But to have that consistency and simplicity ..." quoted Azarenka saying.

"My tennis wasn't bad, but I wasn't really mentally there. I played with a lot of fear, and a lot of anxiety. It really was difficult to be brave and to make the right choices on the court in important moments when you feel anxious and hesitant," Azarenka said in her on-court interview.

"I worked a lot on my mindset, challenging myself on things I wouldn't do before. When you achieve great success, sometimes you become conservative and hesitant to try new things. I was like, 'You know what, I'll be open-minded, try new things, keep my head down and work," she added.

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina trounced Jelena Ostapenko on Tuesday to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open 2023 at the Rod Laver Arena.

Elena Rybakina is the first player to book a spot in the Australian Open 2023 women's semifinals after triumphing in a battle of grand slam winners.

The 22nd seed overpowered Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 in a one-hour and 19-minute encounter, becoming the first woman representing Kazakhstan to reach the final four at Melbourne Park.

"I think of course I got all the experience at Wimbledon, and it's helping me now here in Australia and I know what to expect," Rybakina told the press, after her win. "Feeling good on the court and just really enjoying every match I'm playing here," Rybakina said after the win as quoted by WTA. (ANI)

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