MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A quick look at the Australian Open:
LOOKAHEAD TO THURSDAY
Whatever the outcome of women’s semifinals, there’ll be a first-time Australian Open champion. U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka takes a 12-match winning streak at Grand Slams into her semifinal match against seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova. They’ve both had big recent wins over 23-time major winner Serena Williams. Osaka beat Williams in the final in New York to win her first Slam title last September. Pliskova somehow came back from 5-1 down in the third, saving four match points, in a quarterfinal stunner on Wednesday. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says her semifinal against American Danielle Collins represents a comeback in her “second career.” She missed the 2017 Australian Open while she was recovering from injuries sustained in a home invasion in the Czech Republic the previous month, and this is her first trip to a Grand Slam semifinal since. And, she’s on a 10-match winning streak after warming up for the Australian Open with a title run in Sydney. Collins had never won a Grand Slam match before this tournament, and now her career record is 5-5. She has taken out three seeded players, including 2016 champion Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-2 in the fourth round. With Kvitova and Pliskova still in action, it’s first time since 1980 that two Czech women have been in the semifinals in Australia. The men’s semifinal match is being billed as a struggle between the old guard and the new. Rafael Nadal, a 17-time major champion, is taking on 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, the first player from Greece to advance this far in a major. The second-ranked Nadal won both their previous matches in straight sets last year. He also hasn’t dropped a set in five rounds here. But Tsitsipas showed in his fourth-round upset of defending champion Roger Federer that he fears nobody at this level.
Humid, mostly sunny, high of 36 Celsius (97 Fahrenheit).
Mostly sunny, high of 24 C (75 F).
Men’s quarterfinals: No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat No. 8 Kei Nishikori 6-1, 4-1, ret.; No. 28 Lucas Pouille beat No. 16 Milos Raonic 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4.
Women’s quarterfinals: No. 4 Naomi Osaka beat Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-1; No. 7 Karolina Pliskova beat No. 16 Serena Williams 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
STAT OF THE DAY
6 — Streak of games won by Karolina Pliskova to clinch victory after Serena Williams was called for a foot fault on match point.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I think she just played lights out on match point, literally. Just went for — just went crazy on match point.” — Williams explaining how Pliskova rallied from 5-1 down and saved four points in the third set of her upset win.