Tennis: Linette pulls off upset to reach Australian Open quarters

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Magda Linette caused a major upset by defeating the number four seed, Carolina Garcia, 7:6, 6:4 to advance to the quater-finals of the Australian Open, in what has become the tournament of the Pole’s career.

The Polish player overcame her French opponent in a tight match to proceed into the last four where she will face the 30-year-old Czech, Karolina Plíšková.

Linette and Garcia have trained together a lot in recent years, so they were very familiar with one another’s game. It was the French player who started the better, racing into a 3:0 in the opener, with Linette making a lot of errors and seemingly stressed sensing the magnitude of the occasion. However, her early nerves wore off and she began to edge her way back into the set.

Linette displayed admirable consistency and resolve after suffering an early break. The ninth game was crucial, with Garcia 5:4 up. However, a double fault from the French woman gave Linette a break-point. She failed to capitalise on her first attempt, but made it at the second time of asking. Both players held their serves in the next two games, leading to a tie-break. The battle of nerves was won by the last Pole (3:7) with Garcia starting to become frustrated.

In the second set, Linette carried over her momentum from the first, whilst Garcia made a lot of unforced errors which put her under pressure when serving and forcing to defend numerous break points.

The Pole, on the other hand, excelled on her serve and a breakthrough came in the ninth game. Linette defended the game-point and later took the upperhand and the match after an hour and 58 minutes.

For Linette, ranked 45 in the world, it was a historic victory. She can now look forward to a match against the Czech, Karolina Plíšková, who defeated Chinese player Shuai Zhang.