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

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Agency
External source

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Explainer: Why it is difficult to mine in South Africa

The Fraser Institute's annual survey of mining companies is not entirely wrong, South Africa is a difficult place to mine, say analysts

Afrofuturism meets Wabi-Sabi at Design Joburg

Architects, fashion designers and tastemakers descend on Johannesburg’s premium design event

Asiatic black bear cubs saved from illegal wildlife trade in...

Two bear cubs, weighing only 2.4kg and 3.3kg, were rescued from a man intending to sell them on the illicit wildlife market

How the ANC wants to re-evaluate cadre deployment during policy...

The party's decision to relook at the deployment process could result in a broadening of the pool of candidates for positions.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×