After trailing 5-1 in the final set, Czech tennis star Karolína Plíšková scored a stunning victory over Serena Williams this morning in Australian Open quarterfinal action, knocking the American star out of the tournament.
With the victory, both she Plíšková and Petra Kvitová head into the Australian Open semifinals, setting up a potential all-Czech final that could decide not just the 2019 Australian Open, but also the WTA #1 ranking.
After splitting the first two sets 6-4, 4-6, Plíšková seemed doomed when Williams took a 5-1 lead in the final set.
But Serena missed four match points, and eventually dropped the final six games to give Plíšková an incredible 7-5 victory to take the match.
“I was almost in the locker room,” Plíšková told reporters afterwards.
“But now I’m standing here as the winner.”
The win evens up Plíšková’s record against Serena Williams at 2-2 after four lifetime matches.
In semifinal action on Thursday, Plíšková will take on Japan’s Naomi Osaka, fourth-seeded in the tournament, to compete for a place in the final.
Meanwhile, Petra Kvitová, who defeated Australian Ashleigh Barty on Tuesday to advance to the semis, will face the USA’s Danielle Rose Collins.
Kvitová’s win ensures that Romania’s Simona Halep, who lost to Serena earlier in the tournament, will lose her 48-week reign atop the WTA ranking. The Czech star, who surpassed Halep’s point total on Tuesday, will likely take over #1 when new rankings are revealed next week.
Should Plíšková win the Australian Open, however, she also has a shot at the #1 ranking.
The women’s singles final will be played on Sunday, January 27.