Serena Falters at Australian
Serena Williams was in total control until she wasn’t. In an astonishing turn of events, Karolina Pliskova came back from 5-1 down in the third and won. She saved four match points with fearless play. However, it wasn’t without controversy, one of those match points was on Serena’s serve at 40-30, and Serena was called for a foot fault. If I were Serena, I would start laying off the baseline on important points. Why tease it? Nevertheless, it wasn’t the officiating that got the better of Serena in this match, it was Pliskova.
When Serena was asked in the press conference what went wrong, she simply stated, “I did nothing wrong, I didn’t choke.” She reflected on the four lost match points, and simply said that it had nothing to do with her game and everything to do with the way Pliskova played them. “She played the points of her life during the match points” Serena went on to say. As it has now become customary of Serena, she gave all the credit to Pliskova. Comes to show that no lead is to big in today’s game and match points can come and go. For example, last year during Wozniacki’s and Halep’s run to the Australian Final, both had been down match points and seemed completely out before staging big comebacks. Wozniacki was also down 5-1 in the third and facing two match points against world 119 Jana Fett. It was not to be as Wozniacki staged a massive comeback ultimately winning the match 7-5 in the third.
As a result, we will have no Grand Slam rematch between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. As disappointing as that may be, I couldn’t be happier for Pliskova, who has reached as high as number one in the world but has been unable to win that elusive slam. It should be a very entertaining semifinal between Osaka and Pliskova. Both are great shot makers and hit the ball with purpose. It should fun to watch. The other women’s semi consists of a surging Kvitova and Danielle “Hey, where did this feisty, shot making crazy woman come from” Collins. If Collins plays anywhere near what she has been showing, this semifinal will also be extremely fun to watch. I expect a Osaka vs. Kvitova final, with Kvitova prevailing in three.