Unseeded Linette reaches Australian Open semis after beating Pliskova


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Two days after advancing to her first Grand Slam tournament quarterfinal, unseeded Magda Linette went one better and is into the Australian Open semifinals.

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The 30-year-old Linette defeated 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, defeated Anett Kontaveit, Ekaterina Alexandrova and WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia in consecutive rounds.

A player from Poland was favored to reach the last stages of the tournament, but it was the most prominent Iga Swiatek that everyone expected _ and not Linette.

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

Linette will play the winner of Wednesday’s second women’s quarterfinal between No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka and unseeded Donna Vekic. They meet in the semifinals on Thursday night.

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

Later on Wednesday, the remaining men’s semifinalists will be determined. Unseeded Americans Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul play before nine-time champion Novak Djokovic takes on Andrey Rublev.

Djokovic will be looking to qualify for his 44th Grand Slam semi-final and a win in that match on Friday would advance him to his 33rd major singles final on Sunday night.

The other men’s semi-final on Friday will see third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas play Karen Khachanov.

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