Karolina Pliskova revelled in the "best comeback ever" after her incredible win over Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarter-finals. 

The Czech seventh seed came from 5-1 down in the final set and saved four match points to claim a 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory in Melbourne on Wednesday. 

Pliskova, who will face Naomi Osaka in the last four, said there was no doubt it was her best fightback. 

"Well, normally I'm having lot of comebacks, but maybe like from being a set down or a break down, so nothing like this," she told a news conference. 

"I think it's going to be the best comeback ever so far in my life."

Williams rolled her ankle when serving for the match in the seventh game of the final set, but the 23-time grand slam champion praised her opponent. 

Pliskova, into her third major semi-final, said she tried to pay no attention to Williams' side of the court. 

"Whatever is happening on the other side, I just try to block it. Either it's positive or negative, whatever is there, it's just not my business. I'm sorry, but that's how it is. I know once I start to think about that, it's bad," she said. 

"That's what I did at that time. But I was like, 'Yeah, maybe something little bit happened, but she's still on serve, even if she loses this game, it's still 5-2.' I didn't really think about it, that maybe there's going to be a chance at that game. 

"But she did I think double-fault. I really went for my shots. I didn't feel like she played something really bad that game. Maybe the double-fault was a big help. Otherwise, I don't think she did anything actually that bad. 

"I thought she a little bit was missing more than she was the set and a half [prior]. But I was more aggressive. That's what was working in the first set, so that's just what I did."

Serena Williams refused to blame a rolled ankle for her incredible Australian Open loss to Karolina Pliskova, instead giving credit to her opponent.

Williams gave up a 5-1 lead in the final set and squandered four match points in a 6-4 4-6 7-5 quarter-final loss at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

The 23-time grand slam champion appeared to roll her ankle when serving in the seventh game and Pliskova took charge from that point.

But Williams, 37, said her ankle was not the reason she suffered defeat.

"My ankle seems to be fine. I usually don't know until the next day," the American told a news conference.

"I think she just played lights out on match point, literally, hitting lines. Just went for, just went crazy on match point. She just played unbelievable on match point."

Williams lost 25 of the final 33 points of the match, including being broken to love twice.

She said: "I think she just played well on my serve after that point. I think she just kind of started playing really, really good. I don't think it had anything to do with my ankle, per se. I just think she was just nailing and hitting shots.

"Obviously I made some mistakes, but she played really well after that."

Karolina Pliskova ended Serena Williams' bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title at the Australian Open with an incredible comeback win on Wednesday.

Pliskova came from 5-1 down in the final set and saved four match points to claim a stunning 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory in the quarter-final on Rod Laver Arena.

Williams appeared to be in complete control until she rolled her ankle in the seventh game of the final set and Pliskova took advantage.

The Czech seventh seed moved into a third major semi-final, where she will face Japanese star Naomi Osaka.

Williams was eyeing an eighth title in Melbourne and 24th grand slam crown – to go level with Margaret Court – but Pliskova produced the huge comeback.

Both players made a clean start before Pliskova landed the first blow of the contest, breaking in the third game.

A backhand winner down the line set up break point, converted when Williams put a backhand into the net.

Williams had seemed to be reluctant to miss her first serve, with her speeds well down early compared to previously this tournament.

She picked it up in the fifth game, but had to fight her way out of a 0-40 hole and fend off four break points to hold serve.

Pliskova, who had her left knee taped, was in fine form throughout the opening set, closing it out with an ace.

The first chance to break in the second set went to Pliskova, who struck when Williams sent a backhand into the net in the fifth game.

But Williams responded immediately and broke once more at the perfect moment in the 10th game to take the second set 6-4.

Seemingly with all the momentum, Williams started to take control, breaking for 3-1 in the third set with a wonderful cross-court forehand return winner.

But Williams rolled her left ankle while serving at 5-1 – a match point also going begging – and Pliskova incredibly got back on serve.

Pliskova was forced to save three more match points in an enthralling 10th game, a backhand winner making it 5-5.

The Czech broke Williams to love in the next game and then sealed the amazing victory when her opponent sent a forehand into the net on match point.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Pliskova [7] bt Williams [16] 6-4 4-6 7-5

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Pliskova - 32/15
Williams - 54/37

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Pliskova - 9/0
Williams - 12/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Pliskova - 5/11
Williams - 4/8

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Pliskova - 79
Williams - 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Pliskova - 68/38
Williams - 64/46

TOTAL POINTS
Pliskova - 102
Williams - 95

Naomi Osaka cruised into a second grand slam semi-final after proving too good for Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The US Open champion powered past Svitolina in an impressive 6-4 6-1 victory in their quarter-final on Rod Laver Arena.

Osaka, the 21-year-old fourth seed, was the aggressor throughout and she was too strong for the sixth-seeded Svitolina.

Svitolina, who beat Osaka twice last year, is now 0-4 in major quarter-finals and needed treatment during the second set.

Osaka will face either Serena Williams or Karolina Pliskova in the last four.

After a few relatively comfortable holds, Osaka and Svitolina traded breaks, the former using her power to grab a 5-3 lead.

Serving for the set, Osaka produced some nervy points from 30-15 to allow Svitolina to get back on serve once more.

Incredibly, Osaka gave up a 0-40 lead in the next game, but a return winner and Svitolina hitting the net with a backhand saw the Japanese star take the set.

Osaka quickly grabbed a 3-0 lead in the second set before Svitolina took a medical timeout for treatment on her shoulder/neck area.

But the break did nothing to slow down Osaka, who closed out a superb victory in one hour, 12 minutes.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Osaka [4] bt Svitolina [6] 6-4 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Osaka - 31/25
Svitolina - 11/16

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Osaka - 8/0
Svitolina - 1/3

BREAK POINTS WON 
Osaka - 5/13
Svitolina - 2/4

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Osaka - 61
Svitolina - 58

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Osaka - 64/52
Svitolina - 60/27

TOTAL POINTS 
Osaka - 60
Svitolina - 46

Rafael Nadal sees no reason to treat his Australian Open semi-final against another Next Gen star in Stefanos Tsitsipas differently to any other match.

The Spaniard eased into the last four at Melbourne Park - a stage at which he has lost just once, in 2008 - with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 success over the unseeded Frances Tiafoe on Rod Laver Arena.

And next up for the second seed is a meeting with Tiafoe's fellow Next Gen alumni Tsitsipas, who counts six-time champion Roger Federer among his scalps en route to a maiden grand slam semi-final.

But Nadal will not be changing his approach as he prepares for a 30th appearance in the last four of a major.

"I play another match if they are the Next Gen or not," said the 17-time grand slam winner.

"For me what really matters is win the match and give myself a chance to be in the next round. That's the real feeling for me at this stage of my career.

"I know they are good. I know they will be fighting for the most important things during the next couple of years. I don't take it that way. I just take it like a difficult match against players that have a lot of energy. That's all.

"It's another match. It's a difficult match. I try to do my thing, do it well to try to give myself the chance to be through. It's a good challenge for me. I hope to be ready for it.

"I am playing well. I did a lot of things well during the week and a half. Let's see. I don't know, I can't predict what can happen.

"I am just going day by day and being very happy about the way things started for me. It's very positive the way that I am in the semi-finals. That's the only thing that I can say. Then I'm going to try to be ready for it."

After being outclassed by Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open quarter-finals, Frances Tiafoe has his sights set on a meeting with NBA legend LeBron James.

The 21-year-old, unseeded at Melbourne Park, had never before been beyond the third round of a grand slam and defeating 17-time major champion Nadal proved too tall a task on Tuesday.

Nadal eased into a semi-final clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas courtesy of a routine 6-3 6-4 6-2 success on Rod Laver Arena as Tiafoe had no answer to the relentless Spaniard.

After wins over Kevin Anderson and Andreas Seppi en route to the last eight, Tiafoe imitated James' famed 'Silencer' celebration and the world number 39 was asked if he thought his run to the quarters would boost his chances of meeting the Los Angeles Lakers superstar.

"Man, forget about the slam. I thought once I had the celebration the first couple times, I thought I was going to get a meeting with him," Tiafoe told a news conference.

"I would love to meet him one day. That would mean the world to me.

"I think just kind of talk, pick his brain, see everything he's accomplished, just on and off court, to be just half the guy he is would be unbelievable. I look up to him with everything. He's a true role model."

Tiafoe was subsequently asked if James had messaged him following those copy-cat celebrations, to which he replied: "No, if he texted me, I wouldn't be here right now. I'd be FaceTiming him, if he had my number.

"Just the Instagram comment. Yeah, 'the silencer', that's all he said. That's it."

Ashleigh Barty believes Petra Kvitova is getting back to her best, having been beaten by the two-time Wimbledon champion at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Kvitova is into the last four of a grand slam for the first time since she was the victim of a knife attack at her home in December 2016.

Her place in the semi-finals was secured by a convincing 6-1 6-4 victory over home favourite Barty, who is pleased to see Kvitova back on form.

"She's an amazing human being," said Barty. "I think she's beginning to play her best tennis again.

"I was fortunate enough to play her in one of her first tournaments back in Birmingham a couple years ago.

"We all know what Petra can do. She's a grand slam champion. She's proved she can beat the best, be very close to the best.

"I think she's been number two in the world before. She's certainly got the game and the attitude to be able to take it to anyone.

"But most importantly, I think from all of the girls in the locker room, it's amazing just to see her back out here. It wasn't the same when she wasn't here."

Discussing the challenge of facing Kvitova in the last eight, Barty added: "At times it's very much out of my control, what she does from her end of the court.

"In the beginning, she served particularly well. Even when I was hitting my spots on first serves, she was returning within a metre or two of the baseline, putting me on the back foot instantly.

"Yeah, she was clean as a whistle. I have to give all credit to her."

Petra Kvitova described her last-four run at the Australian Open as "the first semi-final of my second career".

The Czech was in inspired form in a 6-1 6-4 beating of home favourite Ashleigh Barty on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

It is the furthest Kvitova has gone in a grand slam since returning to the WTA Tour after she was the victim of a knife attack in her home in December 2016.

The incident left Kvitova with severe injuries to her playing hand and fearing for her career.

And the two-time Wimbledon champion, who was evidently emotional in her on-court interview, is revelling in the moment. 

Asked if it felt different to her previous grand slam semi-final appearances, she said: "It is, for sure. I'm calling it as my second career. So, it's the first semi-final of my second career. 

"It's took me a while, for sure. I never really played that well at the grand slams, so I'm happy this time it's different. I'm really enjoying it. The tournament is still not over yet."

Kvitova, who was last a semi-finalist in Melbourne in 2012, says her absence from the Australian Open two years ago helped her gain a new perspective on tennis and life.

"I think the year I didn't play here, I was watching TV when other players played. It wasn't really a great feeling to be honest," she added. 

"I really missed that a lot. I think I'm seeing life a little bit differently compared to before. I know it's just a sport, it's just tennis. 

"Always when you are doing something, you want to do your best. Of course, losing, it hurts a lot because you are doing everything for it. 

"On the other hand, like the day after, or me, I'm always looking back and seeing what has been done and what I achieved from the time. It's always both sides."

Awaiting next is surprise semi-finalist Danielle Collins, who had never gone beyond round one at a slam before this year's tournament, after the American defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets.

"This has all been a really incredible experience," Collins said. "Obviously it's my first time playing the main draw here in Australia, so I think that's a little bit new to me. 

"This time last year I was playing a challenger in Newport Beach. I think I'm really embracing it."

Collins lost out in a three-set grind to Kvitova in Brisbane earlier this month.

"I've played Kvitova once a couple weeks ago and she's tricky because she's a lefty," she added.

"I followed a lot of her career. She's an incredible champion, has gone through a lot. We had a really great battle a couple weeks ago, one of the best matches I've played. I didn't even win that match."

Rafael Nadal powered his way into the Australian Open semi-finals with a convincing straight-sets win over Frances Tiafoe.

American youngster Tiafoe has wowed Melbourne during his run to the last eight, the furthest he has gone at a grand slam, but the gulf in quality and experience was evident from the off on Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal rarely had to shift through the gears en route to a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory that was wrapped up in just one hours and 47 minutes, sealing a sixth Melbourne semi - and 30th in all slams - for the 32-year-old.

The Spaniard, who has won just one of his 17 slam titles in Melbourne, will now face impressive NextGen star Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in Sunday's final.

Nadal blew Tiafoe away with an outstanding opening 10-minute display of power, precision and outrageous quality – breaking in just the second game when his opponent found the net after a series of brilliant groundstrokes.

To Tiafoe's credit, he held a couple to love but Nadal raced through his own service games to clinch an opening set lacking in extended rallies.

A similarly poor start to the second set from Tiafoe in which he failed to land his opening three first serves was punished as Nadal broke to love with a clean winner.

Tiafoe did not win a point on Nadal's first serve until game four of the second set and a couple of poor shots and sloppy errors handed the American two break points that were quickly quashed.

Three set points came and went with Tiafoe serving to prolong the inevitable, but in Nadal's next service game a trademark crunching forehand down the line set him up to finish the job.

Another break arrived immediately at the start of the third and the writing was one the wall when Tiafoe dropped serve again in game seven, with Nadal giving the 21-year-old the run-around before putting away another forehand.

A simple hold for the match followed and Nadal, who is still to drop a set this tournament, looks in ominous form ahead of his date with Tsitsipas.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Nadal [2] bt Tiafoe 6-3 6-4 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal - 29/23
Tiafoe - 24/34

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal - 11/0
Tiafoe - 13/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal - 4/8
Tiafoe - 0/2

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal - 74
Tiafoe - 75

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal - 84/60
Tiafoe - 70/33

TOTAL POINTS
Nadal - 88
Tiafoe - 61

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes backing up his stunning victory over Roger Federer at the Australian Open was more important than defeating the legendary Swiss.

The Greek youngster battled into his first grand slam semi-final with a gutsy 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) victory over Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday.

It came just two days after the 14th seed had toppled double-defending champion Federer in a brutal four-setter in Melbourne.

Tsitsipas concedes it was tough to come back down to earth after defeating the 20-time slam winner, which he feels made his triumph against Bautista Agut all the more important. 

"It was really tough. [The] first night was tough to process," he said. "In the beginning was tough to fall asleep, to be honest with you. 

"I had a pain in my toe which kept me awake. In general, I felt a bit of pain in my body and tension.

"I slept less than six hours. I was worried about my next match, if I'm going to be able to get some good sleep the day before. 

"I slept pretty well the other night. I received a lot of messages, a lot of congrats from people, from celebrities back home, which I never thought they were watching tennis. 

"It kind of felt like the whole thing has a big impact in the country, so yeah, lots of messages, congratulations from people, people sending me videos, photos, whatever. 

"I did want to concentrate on my next match. I knew that win against Federer was important, it played a huge role in my image, like who I am. 

"But I knew that the biggest challenge was today's match, that I can prove myself once again."

Tsitsipas' run has drawn new eyes to the Greek sensation and the regular vlogger has reportedly doubled his YouTube page subscribers.

Surprised by the news, Tsitsipas opened up on why he enjoys the platform.

"Oh, my God. Really?" He replied when told about his legion of new followers.

"I didn't know it was going to have such an impact, what I said. I didn't check yet. I think I'm going to be more careful what I'm going to post on my next video.

"I started last year, inspired by some other people. When I'm desperate sometimes, when I feel down, I do these videos, I actually feel better. 

"It makes me realise that tennis is not the most important thing in life, that we all have some other talents that we don't know about. It kind of makes me more relaxed."

Petra Kvitova ended hopes of a home Australian Open winner with a commanding 6-1 6-4 quarter-final victory over Ashleigh Barty.

The mightily impressive Czech continued her record of not dropping a set this tournament, with her exquisite movement and power enabling her to book a maiden last-four appearance in Melbourne.

Barty was aiming to become the first Australian woman to reach a singles semi-final since Wendy Turnbull in 1984, but was never able to gain a foothold in the match.

An emotional Kvitova was in tears during her on-court interview after the match and she can now focus on a first slam semi-final since she won Wimbledon in 2014, while it is the furthest she has gone in a major since returning from a knife attack in her home in December 2016.

"I didn't really imagine being back on this great stadium and playing with the best. It's great," Kvitova said.

"I started better, I served well, I took the first break. In the second she came back, she didn't give me anything for free and I really had to fight until the end."

Kvitova had Barty under pressure as early as the second game and the home star had already saved a couple of break points before putting a forehand wide to cede the first break.

Barty was playing like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights, while the cool Kvitova was quick around the court and landing punishing winners.

It came as little surprise when a second break arrived, converted with an exquisite drop-shot, before Kvitova duly served out for the set.

Encouraged by a partisan Rod Laver Arena crowd, Barty settled and had Kvitova on the back foot with a couple of break points early in the second set.

But Kvitova stood firm and, after each player coasted through a couple of easy holds, took her opportunity with aplomb in game nine – putting away a clinical shot from mid-court to take control before breaking to 15. 

Kvitova then served out at the first time of asking to book a last-four date with Danielle Collins.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 

Kvitova (8) bt Barty (15) 6-1 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Kvitova - 25/24
Barty - 8/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
​Kvitova - 3/2
Barty - 2/1

BREAK POINTS WON 
Kvitova - 3/5
Barty - 0/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Kvitova - 68
Barty - 78

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Kvitova - 74/50
Barty - 54/60

TOTAL POINTS 
Kvitova - 62
Barty - 46

Danielle Collins continued her fairytale run at the Australian Open, reaching the semi-finals with a three-set win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old American found her range after a poor start to claim a 2-6 7-5 6-1 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

Collins had never won a main-draw match at a grand slam before this tournament, but will now play either Petra Kvitova or Ashleigh Barty for a place in the final.

The result extended Pavlyuchenkova's losing run in quarter-finals, the Russian now holding a 0-5 record in last-eight singles matches at grand slams.

Collins – who thrashed Angelique Kerber in the fourth round – was overly aggressive early and she was left to rue her failure to break Pavlyuchenkova during a 17-minute second game.

That allowed Pavlyuchenkova to take control while Collins continued to push, but with little success.

Pavlyuchenkova closed out a 49-minute set when Collins sent a wild backhand well wide.

Needing a response, Collins found it to begin the second set, a swinging forehand winner giving her a break for 3-1.

Pavlyuchenkova broke back – to 15 – in the ninth game before Collins struck again to take the set with a forehand winner.

Collins carried that momentum into the final set and was in complete control, grabbing an early break with a wonderful forehand cross-court return winner.

Far more controlled from the baseline, Collins was dictating play and won seven straight games before Pavlyuchenkova broke the run, but it was far too late.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Collins bt Pavlyuchenkova 2-6 7-5 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Collins - 38/20
Pavlyuchenkova - 36/36

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Collins - 6/1
Pavlyuchenkova - 6/6

BREAK POINTS WON 
Collins - 5/15
Pavlyuchenkova - 4/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Collins - 60
Pavlyuchenkova - 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Collins - 77/42
Pavlyuchenkova - 64/38

TOTAL POINTS 
Collins - 100
Pavlyuchenkova - 91

Stefanos Tsitsipas' dream Australian Open run continued with a four-set win over Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Tsitsipas moved into his first grand slam semi-final after a tough 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) victory over the Spanish 22nd seed on Rod Laver Arena.

The 20-year-old, who is the 14th seed, managed to back up his stunning win against Roger Federer with another success as Bautista Agut – coming off three five-set wins in four matches – tired late.

Awaiting Tsitsipas in the last four is either Rafael Nadal or Frances Tiafoe.

Tsitsipas took time to settle, falling behind an early break, but he recovered late in the first set.

As Bautista Agut struggled with the sun at one end, Tsitsipas created set point in the 10th game with a forehand winner and converted when the Spaniard sent a backhand into the net.

A poor game saw Tsitsipas give up serve in the third game of the second set and this time Bautista Agut made no mistake on his way to levelling the match.

For the third straight set, Bautista Agut went 4-2 up, only to begin to tire, losing four consecutive games.

Tsitsipas, who gave up multiple first serves due to time violations, took the set 6-4 after a slice backhand down the line.

Both players were comfortable on serve in the fourth set until the 12th game, when Bautista Agut saved a match point with an incredible forehand winner on his way to forcing a tie-break.

Tsitsipas took a 3-0 lead courtesy of a stunning backhand down the line and while Bautista Agut briefly responded, he closed out his victory.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Tsitsipas [14] bt Bautista Agut [22] 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Tsitsipas - 68/38
Bautista Agut - 50/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Tsitsipas - 22/3
Bautista Agut - 6/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Tsitsipas - 4/11
Bautista Agut - 3/4

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Tsitsipas - 57
Bautista Agut - 69

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Tsitsipas - 84/49
Bautista Agut - 73/55

TOTAL POINTS
Tsitsipas - 131
Bautista Agut - 126

Novak Djokovic said a hard-fought fourth-round defeat of Daniil Medvedev took its toll but the world number one is confident he can recover as he strives to make history at the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic said a hard-fought fourth-round defeat of Daniil Medvedev took its toll but the world number one is confident he can recover as he strives to make history at the Australian Open.

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