Serena knocked out of Australian Open as Pliskova reaches semis

Serena Williams was sensationally bundled out of the Australian Open on Wednesday after an epic three-set fight with Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova for a semi-final spot.

Pliskova won 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to set up a final four clash with Japanese fourth seed Naomi Osaka, ending the American great’s dream of claiming a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park this year.

The 26-year-old survived four match points in a roller coaster third set that Williams led 5-1 before collapsing to defeat in two hours 10 minutes.

“I was almost in the locker room, now I’m standing here as the winner. It’s a great feeling,” an exhausted Pliskova said.

“My mind was in the locker room. I wasn’t playing very well in the third set but I thought let’s try, this game at 5-2. She got a little bit shaky in the end so I took my chances and I won.”

Williams, 37, had blazed through the early stages of the tournament, seeing off world number one Simona Halep in the fourth round.

But against Pliskova she lacked the intensity she had previously displayed and was soon trailing for the first time during her campaign after a slew of uncharacteristic errors.

Pliskova, who entered this year’s tournament on a high after winning the Brisbane International warm-up, came out firing and out served Williams to take the first set.

Williams rebounded in the second set before imploding in the third when she had the finish line in sight.

Former world number one Pliskova has made the quarter-finals in her last two appearances at Melbourne Park and made the final at the US Open in 2016.

She has been a regular in the second week of Grand Slams in recent years, reaching the quarters or better six times since late 2016, but is still searching for a breakthrough win.

The Czech said the win over Williams was a huge confidence booster before facing US Open champion Osaka.

“She’s dangerous but nobody is more dangerous than Serena,” she said.

© Agence France-Presse

Agency
External source
Advertisting

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide

We need to ask awkward questions about our schools

Ignore the language used in brochures and on open days and be vigilant about the details

Study unpacks the ‘hidden racism’ at Stellenbosch

Students say they feel unseen and unheard at the university because of their skin colour

Ramaphosa enters the fray in fight between Gordhan and Mkhwebane

The president said his court case is “unfortunate” and a “measure of last resort”
Advertising

Press Releases

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.