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

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."

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

Simona Halep will have to wait and see if she retains top spot in the world rankings after her defeat to Serena Williams opened the door for a new number one to be crowned at the Australian Open.

Patrick Mouratoglou said he never feared the controversy of last year's US Open would lead to him splitting with Serena Williams, as he hailed the loyalty and intelligence of the 23-time grand slam singles champion.

Simona Halep ranked her Australian Open showing as "close to 10" after feeling like she had "hit by a train" in the first set of a fourth-round defeat to Serena Williams.

Serena Williams said her "innate" fighting spirit got her through a huge battle with Simona Halep in a thrilling fourth-round clash at the Australian Open.

Serena Williams came through an enthralling battle with world number one Simona Halep to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Naomi Osaka moved into a second grand slam quarter-final with a hard-fought win over Anastasija Sevastova at the Australian Open on Monday.

Half of the quarter-final field in the Australian Open women's singles draw was confirmed on Sunday, but the likes of Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber saw their campaigns ended.

Kerber, victorious at Melbourne Park three years ago, was hammered by unseeded American Danielle Collins while 2008 champion Sharapova took the first set against home hope Ashleigh Barty before succumbing 4-6 6-1 6-4.

Former US Open winner Sloane Stephens saw her challenge come to a halt in the fourth round too as Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova prevailed in another match to go the distance, and Petra Kvitova demolished 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova.

Roger Federer's exit to Stefanos Tsitsipas attracted much of the attention at Melbourne Park on day seven, but there was no shortage of drama and incident in the women's draw...

 

PAVLYUCHENKOVA FIGHTS BACK TO STUN STEPHENS

Since a run to the semi-finals in 2013, Stephens has failed to reach the second week in Melbourne but she looked on course to earn a quarter-final berth when she took the opening set against Pavlyuchenkova.

And Stephens carried that momentum into the second, breaking immediately and going 2-0 ahead before her opponent roared back and reeled off six of the next seven games to force a decider.

The final set, which began with a Stephens hold after 17 minutes, proved a topsy-turvy affair, featuring six breaks of serve, but Pavlyuchenkova had her nose in front early and the Russian advanced 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-3 to set up a last-eight meeting with Collins.

 

KERBER CRUSHED BY COLLINS

Collins had never won a grand slam match before this week, but the 25-year-old was utterly dominant in a 6-0 6-2 annihilation of Kerber, who conceded that she was well below her best.

"I think there is not too much to say. I mean, it was completely not my day," Kerber said. "I was not playing the tennis that I can play. She played really well. I think she played one of her best matches, to be honest. She hit every ball in the court. She moves good.

"For me...not my day, not my good tennis, but credit to her, she played a good match. I was just trying, I couldn't find my rhythm. The whole match I was trying everything. I was trying to find it. I was trying to fight even in the second set and tried my best."

 

KVITOVA TAKES ANISIMOVA TO SCHOOL

Still seven months shy of her 18th birthday, Anisimova produced a sensational run to the fourth round but the teenager came up against too strong an opponent in two-time major champion Kvitova, who eased through 6-2 6-1.

Anisimova took to social media after the match, admitting she was beaten by the better woman, saying: "I got a tennis lesson today, but at least it was from one of the best in the world hey...really though I had such an enjoyable week here, thank you so much for being such an amazing crowd. I am so looking forward to next year Melbs".

And Belinda Bencic, defeated 6-1 6-4 by Kvitova in the previous round, felt a degree of sympathy with the young American, replying on Instagram: "Welcome to the club #petrasvictims".

 

BARTY TO MEET FAMILIAR FOE KVITOVA

Next up for Kvitova is home favourite Barty, who delighted the partisan crowd by coming from behind to oust Sharapova and the Australian is hoping for revenge after losing out to the world number six in the final of the Sydney International earlier this month.

"[I need to] win a couple more important points, I suppose, compared to Sydney," Barty said. "It's exciting that I get to have another chance at Petra straight away.

"Not often does that happen where you get to kind of have a replay against the same opponent. Really exciting, but, yeah, really pumped to have another chance here."

A "feisty" Danielle Collins plans to continue ruffling a few feathers after thrashing Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open to reach her first grand slam quarter-final.

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