By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Cinderella stories just keep on coming in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.
After Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek’s departure in the early rounds, a player named Magda Linette made the headlines of the lawn tennis scene after upsetting former world no.1 female player Karolina Pliskova in straight sets- 6.3, 7.5- to advance in the Australian Open semifinals last January 25, 2023.
Linette, a young Polish tennis player who acquired a world no. 33 rank as her highest last 2019, entered the Grand Slam tournament as the current world no. 45 player in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
The power player was a huge underdog against Pliskova who was a former top WTA ace for eight-straight weeks way back in July 2017.
Fireworks were immediately displayed in the Rod Laver Arena after the Polish superstar unleashed a variety of powerful groundstrokes that caught Pliskova off guard.
After taking a 4-3 lead, the entire momentum shifted to Linette as she broke Pliskova’s service possession to move one set away from claiming a 1-0 lead.
Linette continued to bully Pliskova and stepped on the gas pedal in the following set after showing no mercy whenever the former world no. 1 chose to attack the net.
No matter what adjustments Pliskova made, Linette still found a way to break through and capitalized on the Czech’s unfortunate unforced errors in the middle of the second set.
With the win, Linette will be challenging the current world no. 5 ranked Aryna Sabalenka who earlier outdueled Donna Vekic in sweeping sets.