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Monday, January 30, 2023

Australian Open: Lanette beats Pliskova to reach first Grand Slam semi.

FeaturedSports NewsAustralian Open: Lanette beats Pliskova to reach first Grand Slam semi.

Magda Linnet exuded disbelief after continuing her dream run to the Australian Open semi-finals with a stunning 6-3 7-5 victory over former world number one Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday.

The unheralded Pole played surprisingly controlled tennis that belied his 45th ranking in the world to win comprehensively in blazing sunshine on Rod Laver Arena.

Lynette was expected to play second fiddle to compatriot Iga Svetek at Melbourne Park but will now battle for a place in the final against either Arina Sabalenka or Donna Vecic, who will meet in Wednesday’s second quarter-final. .

“It’s overwhelming and I really can’t believe it,” said the 30-year-old. “It’s really a dream come true. We continue, though, I don’t want to get too excited because we’re still in the tournament, but I’m very grateful and happy.”

After both players were broken in their opening service game, Lanette showed more courage and took control of the first set as two-time Grand Slam finalist Pliskova made 14 of the 36 errors she would make in the match.

Pliskova knew she had to step up her game in the second set and keep pushing forward but Lynette had an answer for everything the Czech threw at her.

She saved two break points to hold for 2-2 and then had three of her own in Pliskova’s next service game only for the Czech to counter with a couple of big winners.

The set stayed on serve but Lynette appeared to have the upper hand, winning a point with a stunning running backhand crosscourt winner, and she pounced to break at 6-5 when Pliskova double faulted her. Two opportunities presented.

After reaching the last four for the first time in 30 Grand Slam events, he held his head and stared at his box, fearlessly throwing his racket down.

“I’ll never forget it,” he added. “I’ve been going through some really tough things for myself. It’s going to stay with me for the rest of my life. So I’m really grateful.”

Lynette had never been past the third round at a Grand Slam before arriving at Melbourne Park this year and said a change in mindset was behind her legendary run.

“I think all my life I’ve personally suffered from mistakes,” she explained. “So it was really hard to disconnect (life) as a tennis player and as a person because a lot of times I felt like mistakes were defining me.

“My coaches did a really good job and I’m really grateful to them because they really put up with a lot of crap.”

Later on Wednesday, Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul will meet in the first All-American men’s Grand Slam quarter-final since 2007, and heavy favorite Novak Djokovic will face Andre Rublev for a 10th Melbourne Park semi-final.

(translation of tags) Karolina Pliskova

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