Magda Linette: Unseeded player credits calm with her gun at Australian Open


Fans and pundits alike expected a Polish player to compete in this year’s semi-final. australian open – but possibly not a seedless one.

Magda Linette, and not the number 1 in the female world Iga Swiatek – finds herself the only remaining representative of Poland at this year’s singles tournament and will face Aryna Sabalenka in Thursday’s semifinal after defeating former World No.1 Karolina Plísková 6-3 7-5.

Światek was the tournament favorite after reaching the semifinals last year and winning eight titles in 2022, including two Grand Slams, but was knocked out by 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on Sunday.

Ranked 45th, with a career-high 33, the right-hander Linette had never progressed past the third round of a Grand Slam, but she became the ninth-oldest woman in the Open Era to reach her first quarterfinal. of grand slams.

Having never made it past the round of 32 in 29 major starts before, she came into the match against Plísková by beating three seeds: number 16 Anett Kontaveit, number 19 Ekaterina Alexandrova and number 4 Caroline Garcia, in succession.

“I will never forget this… it will stay with me for life,” said Linette, 30, after her quarterfinal victory over Plísková on Wednesday.

“I’m pretty calm, surprisingly, that helped me last time and I think it’s a good way for the next one as well,” Linette later told reporters.

Linette ousted former world No. 1 Plísková and advanced to the semifinals.

Linette attributes her victories thus far to staying calm and composed, even in the face of adversity or an aggressive opponent.

“I had a lot of experience on those big courts before because almost every Grand Slam I ended up on a big court, one way or another,” he explained.

“I already played with so many great players, it’s nothing really new for me, it’s just another match,” added Linette, who is the daughter of a tennis coach.

Linette started playing tennis at the age of five and represented Poland at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. But it wasn’t until 2015 that she broke into the top 100.

She has found success against big names, beating number one seed Ashleigh Barty at the French Open in 2021 and reaching the doubles semifinals alongside Bernarda Pera.

Although she ultimately lost to Martina Trevisan, she knocked out No.2 seed Ons Jabeur in the first round of last year’s French Open.

“When I started beating players like Ash Barty and then Ons, that gave me an extra kick that really showed me that I can really go far in those tournaments. I think it was more frustrating than I was wondering or worried about. I think it was more frustration why I can’t do it,” he said. according to the WTA.

Linette’s plans to compete at the 2021 Australian Open came to a tragic halt after noticing a knee injury just a day before her flight.

“Honestly, it was the most painful experience of my life,” Linette reflected on Wednesday. “I had meniscus surgery…but because it was a bit tricky where the injury was, no one could really see what was happening.

“Literally a day before my flight, the pain and uncomfortable feeling that had come back with a bit more force,” Linette said, adding that she couldn’t even walk, let alone think about the tournament.

He added that before the tournament, “he heard everyone complain about the isolationand he was so jealous that they had to do it because he really wanted to be there.

That injury would go undiagnosed for 11 weeks and see her sidelined for five months. But two years later, she attributes this adversity to her current composure.

“Why? Because I think it couldn’t be worse, right? Honestly, I didn’t play for five months, I was dropping my ranking and I was also losing points in times of pandemic,” Linette said, adding that she was concerned at the time. get out of the top 100.

“In a way, I felt good about the fact that it might be over soon, and I think that gave me a little bit of space to build everything from the beginning.”

His injury, along with “big changes” in his personal life, “definitely changed a lot for me,” he added.

“I became a little calmer. I changed a lot in my life and made some tough decisions, and I think now I’m being rewarded for that.”

However, Linette’s poise in difficult times hasn’t always been the case: She broke down in tears during a challenging match in Tampico, Mexico, last October.

“In the first set, I was playing with a girl and she was giving me a lot of trouble. I completely broke down in tears in the first set. My coaches were really surprised by that,” she said.

“I felt like I got all that anger out of me. That was the last time I really lost it. Since then, I really controlled it better.”

While Sabalenka has a 2-0 career record against the unseeded Pole, given her form at this tournament, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Linette go one step further in her semifinal and achieve a storybook rating in Melbourne for one of the biggest prizes in tennis.

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