Tennis

Linette remains ‘composed’, disturbs Pliskova in Australian quarters

Two days after advancing to her first Grand Slam tournament quarter-final, unseeded Magda Linette has gone one better and is in the Australian Open semi-finals.

Linette, 30, beat Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 7-5 on Wednesday, adding the former No.1 to the list of top players she has beaten at Melbourne Park during this tournament.

Linette, who had lost seven of nine previous matches against Pliskova, has defeated Anett Kontaveit, Ekaterina Alexandrova and WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia in successive rounds.

Linette dominated the shorter events, winning 50 of 80 events by four shots or fewer, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, en route to handing Pliskova her third straight loss in a major quarterfinal. She also lost in the 2021 and 2022 US Open eight rounds and is now 4-7 in major quarterfinals.

A player from Poland was favored to reach the final stages of the tournament, but it was top seed Iga Swiatek who everyone would have expected – and not Linette.

“It’s so emotional I can’t really believe it,” Linette said. “I tried to stay calm and took my chances when I could.”

Linette will play No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka in Thursday night’s semifinals. Sabalenka toppled unseeded Donna Vekic, 6-3, 6-2, on Wednesday.

Vekic, who had 13 double faults against Sabalenka, had a succinct assessment of her serve: “I mean, it was all over the place. But I think mostly at the net.”

The other women’s semifinalists were determined on Tuesday. Two-time former Australian champion Victoria Azarenka will face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina for a chance to play in the final on Saturday night. Rybakina beat Swiatek in the fourth round.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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