Magda Linette: Unseeded player describes calm as her weapon at the Australian Open


Followers and pundits alike anticipated a Polish participant to compete on this yr’s semifinals Australian Open – however presumably not an unoccupied one.

Magda Linette – and never the #1 within the ladies’s world Iga Swiatek – is Poland’s solely remaining consultant on this yr’s singles event and meets Aryna Sabalenka in Thursday’s semifinals after beating former world No. 1 Karolina Plísková 6-3, 7-5.

Światek was the event favourite after reaching the semifinals final yr and profitable eight titles in 2022, together with two Grand Slams, however was knocked out by 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on Sunday.

Ranked forty fifth, with a career-high 33, right-hander Linette had by no means progressed previous the third spherical of a Grand Slam, however turned the ninth-oldest girl within the Open Period to achieve her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

After by no means progressing previous the spherical of 32 in 29 main begins, she made it to the sport in opposition to Plísková by selecting three seeded gamers — No. 16 Anett Kontaveit, No. 19 Ekaterina Alexandrova and No. 4 Caroline Garcia – defeated successor.

“I’ll always remember that… it would accompany me for the remainder of my life,” stated 30-year-old Linette after her quarter-final win in opposition to Plísková on Wednesday.

“I am surprisingly fairly calm, that helped me final time and I feel that is a great way to go subsequent time too,” Linette later advised journalists.

Linette ousted former world No. 1 Plísková and advanced to the semifinals.

Linette attributes her previous victories to her calm and composure, even within the face of adversity or an aggressive opponent.

“I had a lot expertise on these large courts earlier than as a result of I landed nearly each Grand Slam on an enormous court docket a method or one other,” she defined.

“I’ve performed in opposition to so many nice gamers – it is nothing actually new to me, it is simply one other match,” added Linette, who’s the daughter of a tennis coach.

Linette began taking part in tennis on the age of 5 and has represented Poland on the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However it wasn’t till 2015 that she made the highest 100.

She has seen success in opposition to large names, beating high seed Ashleigh Barty on the French Open in 2021 and reaching the doubles semifinals alongside Bernarda Pera.

Regardless of finally shedding to Martina Trevisan, she knocked out No. 2 seed Ons Jabeur within the opening spherical of final yr’s French Open.

“Once I began beating gamers like Ash Barty after which Ons it gave me an additional kick that basically confirmed me that I can go actually far in these tournaments. I feel it was extra irritating than I’d surprise or fear about. I feel it was simply extra frustration as to why I can not,” she stated. based on WTA.

Linette’s plans to compete within the 2021 Australian Open tragically got here to a halt after she found a knee damage only a day earlier than her flight.

“It was actually probably the most painful expertise of my life,” Linette stated on Wednesday. “I had meniscus surgical procedure … however as a result of it was fairly troublesome the place the damage was, nobody might actually see what was happening.

“Actually the day earlier than my flight got here the ache and the uncomfortable feeling that I had come again with some further power,” Linette stated, including that she could not even stroll, not to mention take into consideration the event.

She added that earlier than the event, she “listened to everybody who was complaining about it the isolationand I used to be so jealous that they needed to do it as a result of I actually wished to be there.”

This damage would go undiagnosed for 11 weeks and incapacitated her for 5 months. However two years later, she attributes these adversities to her present composure.

“Why? As a result of I feel it could not actually be worse, proper? I actually have not performed for 5 months, lowered my rating and in addition misplaced factors from pandemic instances,” Linette stated, including that on the time she feared falling out of the highest 100.

“In a manner, I felt sort of snug with the truth that I is perhaps accomplished quickly, and I feel that gave me slightly area to construct every little thing from scratch.”

Her damage, coupled with “large adjustments” in her private life, “positively modified loads for me,” she added.

“I’ve calmed down a bit. I’ve modified loads in my life and made some powerful selections and I feel I am being rewarded for it now.”

Nevertheless, Linette’s composure in troublesome moments wasn’t at all times so – she broke down in tears throughout a difficult sport in Tampico, Mexico final October.

“Within the first set I performed in opposition to a lady and he or she gave me plenty of bother. I burst into tears within the first sentence. My coaches had been actually stunned by that,” she stated.

“I felt like I threw all that anger out of me. That was the final time I actually misplaced my thoughts. I’ve actually gotten a greater deal with on it since then.”

Whereas Sabalenka has a profession report of 2-0 in opposition to the unseeded Pole, given her kind within the event it would not be a shock if Linette went one step additional in her semifinals and actually certified for one among tennis’ largest awards in Melbourne.