Tennis record attempt by Serena Williams took the Australian Open already in the quarterfinals a most unfortunate end. After kinking in the first of four match points, the 37-year-old American lost 4: 6, 6: 4, 5: 7 to Czech Karolina Pliskova despite a 5-1 lead in the third set. This leaves Williams in Melbourne no longer bring their 24th title in Grand Slam tournaments and set the record of the Australian Margaret Court.
However, she did not want to post her defeat after the apparently painful turning over with her left foot. “I think she just played well and that has nothing to do with the ankle,” said Serena Williams. “I did not do anything wrong with the match balls. She played the best tennis of her life. ”
Former US Open semi-finalist Pliskova said Wednesday after her win, which she herself had barely anticipated, “Actually, I was almost in the locker room, and now I stand here as the winner. I was too passive, she was a bit shaky at the end. “Later, Pliskova added,” Such a thing may happen once in a lifetime. ”
For a sentence and a half, she already looked like the winner, in the second set, Pliskova, who had hit hard until then, was ahead after a break of 3: 2. Then Williams made the turn. “She hit the balls and was more aggressive, I was too passive,” Pliskova said. At the score of 5: 1 Serena Williams had her first match point against the former number one. She kinked her left foot as she changed direction and did not move as usual.
At the score of 5: 4, she still had three more chances to win, but could not use these. A little later, Pliskova was 6: 5 ahead, with her own service she finished the memorable game in the third match after 2:10 hours.
In her first Australian Open semi-final, the 26-year-old plays on Thursday against US Open winner Naomi Osaka from Japan, who won her quarter-final 6: 4, 6: 1 against Ukraine’s Jelina Switolina. “It’s dangerous, but there’s no one as dangerous as Serena,” Pliskova said.
The long-standing world ranking first had won her 23rd Grand Slam title two years ago before her baby break with the seventh triumph in Melbourne. She still holds the record in the 50-year professional era before Steffi Graf.
In the other semifinals the Czech Petra Kvitova and surprisingly the American Danielle Collins meet. Osaka, Kvitova and Pliskova have the chance to become the new world number one after the tournament, as Romanian Simona Halep will lose the top position after her knockout round against Serena Williams.