Djokovic through to semi after Nishikori retires


In what was described by commentators as the comeback of a lifetime, Czech world number seven Karolina Pliskova survived four match-points in the third set against 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams to eventually win the contest 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.

Like Osaka, Pliskova will be playing in the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time and is one victory from appearing in her second Grand Slam final, following defeat by Germany's Angelique Kerber in the 2016 US Open.

She was up, 5-1, in the third set against Karolina Pliskova and serving for the match, after dropping the first set and winning the second. On her second serve, Williams rolls her ankle and loses the match point on a netted forehand error.

Serena Williams has crashed out of the Australian Open at the quarterfinal stage after a 4-6, 6-4, 5-7 defeat to seventh seed Karoline Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

"I believe she played unbelievable match". 'She literally played her best tennis ever on those shots'.

She refused to blame the injury for the loss, saying her ankle "seems to be fine".

Normally, Williams is the one manufacturing a comeback. This time, it was surprising to see her let a sizeable lead vanish. And together they've been responsible for the ousting of the likes of two-time Slam champion Garbine Muguruza, 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, and 23-time major victor Serena Williams to get to this far in the tournament.

On the men's front, World Number 1 Novak Djokovic looked to be in scathing form as he began the routine job of demolishing Kei Nishikori. I hope it's not something serious that will take too long. I think she just kind of started playing really, really good. Standing at a towering 6-foot-1, Pliskova is one of the quickest servers in the game, but it's her ability to produce enormous power on her ground strokes, in spite of her lanky figure, that makes her a potent threat. That hasn't happened, but I do like my attitude.

The momentum built up by Williams carried over into the third set with the American making sure she got off to a quicker start this time than in the first two sets, breaking in the fourth game on a handsome forehand victor to go up 3-1.

1 went down 2-6 6-4 4-6 to reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan on a scorching Thursday morning where the temperatures flirted around 42 degree celsius. "Obviously I made some mistakes but she played really well". Petra Kvitova opens the program against Danielle Collins, Pliskova faces Osaka after that, while Tsitsipas and Nadal close the day.

Pouille also made the last four after beating power-serving Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, becoming the first Frenchman to do so at Melbourne Park since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2010. That clearly didn't happen, but I was just trying at that point", she said, adding, "I don't think she gave up at all. "I stayed aggressive", Williams said. "Not that it would be bad for me, but she just loved it maybe little bit more", Pliskova said.

After turning her ankle, Williams was not the same and she quickly dumped serve again to bring the final set back on serve at 5-4. And at that point, I didn't feel like I needed it or think it would be a big deal. All of this has prompted the 21-year-old to work on keeping a check on her emotions. "After that I couldn't really bend my knees and couldn't jump up, so I chose to stop".

'So I just kept going. "Like, I am happy that I'm here, but at the same time, I want to keep going", said Osaka, who never had been past the fourth round at the Australian Open. "There are more matches to win".