Magda Linette: Unseeded player credits calm as her weapon at Australian Open
Fans and pundits expected the Polish player to compete in this year’s semi-finals. Australian Open – but possibly not unranked.
Magda Linnett – Not the women’s world number 1 Iga Światek – She finds herself as Poland’s only remaining representative at this year’s singles tournament and will face Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals on Thursday after seeing off former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova 6-3 7-5.
Sviatek was the tournament favorite after reaching the semi-finals last year and winning eight titles, including two Grand Slams in 2022, but was knocked out by 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on Sunday.
Ranked 45th, with her 33rd career ranking, the right-handed Linnett had never advanced past the third round of a Grand Slam, but became the ninth-oldest woman to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in the Open era. had become
Having never advanced past the round-of-32 in 29 major starts, she defeated three seeded players – No. 16 Annette Kontavet, No. 19 Ekaterina Alexandrova and No. 4 Caroline Garcia – to make her way into the match against Pliskova. . Succession
“I’ll never forget it … it’ll stay with me for the rest of my life,” Lynette, 30, said after her quarterfinal win over Pliskova on Wednesday.
“I’m pretty calm, surprisingly that helped me last time and I think it bodes well for the next one,” Lynette told reporters afterward.
Lynette credits her victories thus far to staying calm and composed, even in the face of adversity or an aggressive opponent.
“I had a lot of experience on those big courts before because almost every Grand Slam I played ended up on the big court in one way or another,” he explained.
“I’ve played a lot of big players before – it’s nothing new for me really, it’s just another match,” added Lynette, who is the daughter of a tennis coach.
Lynette started playing tennis at the age of five and represented Poland at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics. But it wasn’t until 2015 that she broke into the top 100.
She has seen success against big names at the French Open in 2021, defeating top seed Ashley Barty and reaching the doubles semifinals alongside Bernarda Pera.
Although she eventually lost to Martina Trevisan, she knocked out No. 2 seed Ones Jabeur in the opening round of last year’s French Open.
“When I started beating guys like Ash Barty and then Ones, that kind of gave me an extra kick that really showed me that I could really go far in those tournaments. I think it was more disappointing than I would have been surprised or worried about. I think it was just more frustration as to why I couldn’t do it,” she said. According to the WTA.
Lynette’s plans to compete in the 2021 Australian Open came to a screeching halt when she suffered a knee injury the day before her flight.
“It was honestly the most traumatic experience of my life,” Lynette reflected Wednesday. “I had meniscus surgery … but because it was kind of difficult where the injury was, no one could really see what was going on.
“Literally, the day before my flight, the pain and the uncomfortable feeling that I came back with some extra strength,” said Lynette, unable to even walk, let alone think about the tournament.
He added that before the tournament, he “heard everyone’s complaints lonelinessAnd I was so jealous that they had to do it because I really wanted to be there.
That injury will not be known for 11 weeks and will keep him out of action for five months. But two years later, she credits the ordeal for her current sobriety.
“Why? Because I guess it really can’t get any worse, right? I honestly didn’t play for five months, dropping my ranking and dropping points from the time of the pandemic,” said Lynette, at which point she worried she would drop out of the top 100.
“In a way, I felt okay with the fact that I could be done quickly, and I think it gave me a little bit of space to build everything from scratch.”
His injury, along with “huge changes” in his personal life, “definitely changed a lot for me,” he added.
“I calmed down a bit. I’ve changed a lot in my life and made some tough decisions, and I feel like I’m reaping the rewards now.
However, Lynette’s temperament is not always the same in difficult moments – last October she broke down in tears during a challenging match in Tampico, Mexico.
“In the first set, I was playing a girl, and she was giving me a lot of trouble. I totally cried in the first set. My coaches were really surprised by it,” he said.
“I felt like I got all that anger out of me. That was the last time I really lost it. Since then, I have really controlled it better.
While Sablenka has a 2-0 career record against the unranked Pole, given her form in this tournament, Linnett will advance to her semi-final and storybook qualification in Melbourne for one of tennis’ biggest prizes. It wouldn’t be surprising to do.