Petra Kvitova emotionally reached her first Grand Slam semifinal since 2014 by dismissing local favorite Ashleigh Barty in straight sets. It is now certain that Simona Halep will no longer be the WTA No.1 after the Australian Open. The Czech’s opponent in the final four will be American Danielle Collins, who is playing her first ever main draw in Melbourne and who had never before been past the first round at a major.
After racing through the first set in 27 minutes, the eighth-seeded Kvitova was faced with resistance from the 15h-seeded Barty in the second set, but the two-time Wimbledon champion saved two break points and won the last three games to record a 6-1 6-4 victory and reach the first Grand Slam semifinal of her “second career”, as she calls her career after coming back from the 2016 stabbing by a burglar.
The world No.6 Kvitova now even has a chance to reach the No.1 ranking for the first time, but Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova are also in contention. The Czech must go one round further than Osaka to climb to the top spot, plus, if Svitolina or Pliskova make the final, Kvitova would have to win the title to ensure the No.1 position.
Playing on Rod Laver Arena for the first time, unseeded Danielle Collins beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6 7-5 6-1, winning seven games in a row as she stormed through the third set. The start of the match was not as fast though, as the first two games lasted 22 minutes and included seven break points.
Quarterfinal matches from the top half of the draw will take place on Wednesday: first Naomi Osaka vs. Elina Svitolina, followed by Serena Williams vs. Karolina Pliskova.