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Magda Linette: Unseeded player credits calm as her weapons at Australian Open


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Fans Both pundits and analysts expected a Polish player would compete In the semifinal of this year’s Australian Open – but possibly not an unseeded one.

Magda Linette – and not women’s world No. 1 Iga Światek – finds herself as Poland’s sole remaining representative in this year’s singles tournament and will take on Aryna Sabalenka in Thursday’s semifinal after ousting 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 The right-handed player is 45th with a career high 33rd Linette Although she had not made it past the third round in a grand slam, she became the ninth-oldest woman in the country. Open Era To reach their first grand final.

Having She had never advanced beyond the round-of 32 in 29 major starts. Plísková by beating three seeded players – No. 16 Anett Kontaveit, No. 19 Ekaterina Alexandrova No. 4 Caroline Garcia – in succession.

“I will never forget this … this will stay with me for life,” LinetteAfter her quarterfinal win over Plísková on Wednesday.

“I’m quite calm, surprisingly, that helped me last time and I think that’s also a good way for the next one,” Linette Later, he told journalists.

Linette Her success so far can be attributed to her ability to remain calm and composed despite the challenges or aggressive opponent.

“I had so much experience on those big courts before because almost every grand slam I ended up on a big court, one way or another,” She elaborated.

“I played so many big players already – it’s nothing really new for me, it’s just another match,” Additional LinetteThe daughter of a tennis coach is.

Linette Tennis began at the age of five. Poland In the Rio 2016 Tokyo 2020 Olympics. But it wasn’t until 2015 that she broke into the top 100.

She Has had success against top-seeded opponents, defeating them Ashleigh Barty At the French Open 2021: Reaching the semifinals for doubles Bernarda Pera.

Though She finally lost to Martina TrevisanShe knocked it out. No. 2 seeds Ons Jabeur in the opening round of last year’s French Open.

“When I start beating players like Ash Barty and then Ons, that kind of 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 would wonder or worry about it. I think it was just more frustration why I can’t do it,” She stated, According to the WTA.

Linette’s plans to compete in the 2021 Australian Open She was unable to fly after sustaining a serious knee injury.

“It was honestly the most painful experience of my life,” Linette Reflected on Wednesday. “I had meniscus surgery … but because it was kind of tricky where the injury was, nobody could really see what was happening.

“Literally, one day before my flight, the pain and the uncomfortable feeling that I had came back with some extra force,” Linette said, adding that she couldn’t even walk, let alone think of the tournament.

She She also stated that she would be there for the tournament. “listened to everybody complaining about the isolation, and I was so jealous that they had to do it because I really wanted to be there.”

That She would be unable to work for the next 11 weeks due to injury. But Two years later, she attributes her current calm to this adversity.

“Why? Because I think it couldn’t be really worse, right? I honestly didn’t play for five months, was dropping my ranking and also was dropping points from pandemic times,” Linette She added that she was concerned about her chances of falling out of the top 100.

“In a way, I felt kind of okay with the fact that I may be done soon, and I think that gave me a little bit of space to build everything from the beginning.”

Her injury is often paired with “big changes” In her personal life “definitely changed a lot for me,” She added.

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

However, Linette’s poise in difficult moments hasn’t always been the case – she burst into tears during a challenging match in Tampico, Mexico, last October.

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

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

While Sabalenka Has a career record of 2-0 against the unseeded PoleGiven her form in this tournament, it is not surprising to see. Linette Go one step further in their semifinal by making a storybook qualification Melbourne for one of tennis’ biggest prizes.

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