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Serena Williams crashes out of the Australian Open

Tennis giant Serena Williams has crashed out of the Australian Open after a devastating upset against Czech star Karolina Pliskova. 

World No. 8 Pliskova saved four match points to send the seven-times champion packing in a heated final set after a more than two hour long showdown at Rod Laver Arena.

Seventh-seeded Pliskova rallied from 5-1 down in a tense deciding set to advance to her first semi-final at Melbourne Park with a 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory over the American on Wednesday. 

Tennis giant Serena Williams (pictured) has crashed out of the Australian Open after a devastating upset against Karolina Pliskova

Williams had set her sights on matching Margaret Court and her all-time Grand Slam titles record of 24, which would have happened if she won in Melbourne

Williams had set her sights on matching Margaret Court and her all-time Grand Slam titles record of 24, which would have happened if she won in Melbourne

Williams served for the match at 5-1 and, on her first match point, was called for a foot fault

Williams served for the match at 5-1 and, on her first match point, was called for a foot fault

‘I played too passive,’ the Czech winner said about the final set. 

‘On the one hand I was (almost) in the locker room, now I’m standing here. It’s a good feeling.’

‘My mind was in the locker room … She was really playing well.’ 

Williams looked to be on rocky ground from the outset of the three-set thriller after Pliskova stole a 3-1 advantage in the first set.

The 37-year-old quickly picked up her game and managed to crawl back to deuce.

Though 11 unforced errors and no break point opportunities overall from Williams did the player no favours and an unflagging Pliskova managed to steal the first set with a 6-4 win. 

Williams had set her sights on matching Margaret Court and her all-time Grand Slam titles record of 24, which would have happened if she won in Melbourne

Williams had set her sights on matching Margaret Court and her all-time Grand Slam titles record of 24, which would have happened if she won in Melbourne

Seventh-seeded Pliskova rallied from 5-1 down in a tense deciding set to advance to her first semi-final at Melbourne Park with a 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory over Williams (pictured) on Wednesday

Seventh-seeded Pliskova rallied from 5-1 down in a tense deciding set to advance to her first semi-final at Melbourne Park with a 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory over Williams (pictured) on Wednesday

Pliskova looked to steal the second set after she broke William’s serve at 3-2, though Williams managed to bounce back to steal the set at 6-4.   

The grand slam titan looked set to take home a third set win and progress to the semi-finals as she was up 5-1. 

Though in an unexpected turn of events, Williams looked to have hurt her left ankle after she awkwardly tried to return the ball.

‘It has been a big shift,’ commentator Jelena Dokic said.

‘She hasn’t been able to push up for the serve. Also hasn’t been able to move as well.

‘She has grimaced a couple of times and even limped after a couple of shots in that last game as well. It’s definitely affecting her.’ 

Williams (right) looked to be on rocky ground from the outset after the Pliskova (left) stole a 3-1 advantage in the first set

Williams (right) looked to be on rocky ground from the outset after the Pliskova (left) stole a 3-1 advantage in the first set

Karolina Pliskova (pictured) saved four match points to send the seven-times champion packing in a heated final set

Karolina Pliskova (pictured) saved four match points to send the seven-times champion packing in a heated final set

'It was tough because she was really playing well,' Pliskova (pictured) said of William's performance

‘It was tough because she was really playing well,’ Pliskova (pictured) said of William’s performance

Pliskova seized on the opportunity of a noticeably affected Williams to crawl back to an even 5-5 before she ended the the decider on 7-5.

‘It was tough because she was really playing well,’ Pliskova said of William’s performance.

‘I didn’t have many chances in the third set and I was too passive, mentally down.

‘I said let’s try this game 5-2, maybe I will have a couple of chances. 

‘She did get a little bit shaky in the end. So I took my chances and I won.’

Williams limped off the centre court visibly upset – only in the 2014 Australian Open did the American player exit the competition as early.

Williams had set her sights on matching Margaret Court and her all-time Grand Slam titles record of 24, which would have happened if she won in Melbourne.

Her next shot for the record will be at the French Open ‘Roland Garros’ in Paris later this year. 

Pliskova will play Japanese fourth seed and reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka in Thursday’s semi-finals.   

'She did get a little bit shaky in the end,' Pliskova said of Williams after the American rolled her ankle

‘She did get a little bit shaky in the end,’ Pliskova said of Williams after the American rolled her ankle

Pliskova looked to steal the second set after she broke William's (pictured) serve at 3-2, though Williams managed to bounce back to steal the set at 6-4

Pliskova looked to steal the second set after she broke William’s (pictured) serve at 3-2, though Williams managed to bounce back to steal the set at 6-4

Grand slam titan Williams (pictured) looked set to take home a third set win and progress to the semi-finals as she was up 5-1

Grand slam titan Williams (pictured) looked set to take home a third set win and progress to the semi-finals as she was up 5-1

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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