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.
She’s done it!@KaPliskova saves four match points en route to a 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory over #Serena Williams. She’s into the final 4!#GameSetMatch #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/txzmOmDggc
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 23, 2019
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.
Not so fast!!!@KaPliskova breaks #Serena to love and we’re back on serve in the third.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/I10hDTih6p
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 23, 2019
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.
Pliskova  bt Williams  6-4 4-6 7-5
Pliskova – 32/15
Williams – 54/37
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
Pliskova – 102
Williams – 95 league management company has placed heavy fines on Remo Stars becuase the incident that occurred in Sagamu during their 1-1 draw against Insura ce on matchday 3.
The newly promoted side have been
Remo Stars Punished For Crowd Incident In Home Match Against Insurance
• Club Chairman fined and banned from three NPFL Matches • Team Manager suspended for rest of the Season • Club fined a total of N6m including compensation to Referees • Club Ordered to produce two identified supporters involved in attack • Club to forfeit three points in case of a repeat occurrence • Club to play three home matches in Osogbo
After deliberations on reports and evidence from the attack on match officials by supporters of Remo Stars FC at the end of Match Day 3 fixture against Insurance of Benin, the League Management Company (LMC) has fined the club a total of N6m and directed that the club play its next three home matches in Oshogbo, Osun State.
Chairman of Remo Stars FC, Hon. Kunle Soname was also banned from further participation in the next three Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches and fined N1 million for granting a media interview in which he made comments that brought the league to disrepute. Soname was also charged for conducts and utterances that did not show positive example to players and supporters.
Also charged and sanctioned is the club’s Team Manager, Mr Yinka Ajayi who has been suspended for the rest of the season from all NPFL matches.
Remo Stars stands to forfeit three points should such incident occur again during the season while the club was also directed to assist relevant security agencies to apprehend and prosecute two of their supporters identified as Akintan Yinka and Zico.
The sanctions are a fall-out of the pitch invasion and attack on match officials at the end of the match which ended 1-1.