Iga Swiatek has commended her compatriot Magda Linette for her fabulous run to the Australian Open semifinals.
Linette, who had never been in the second week of a Grand Slam before, slayed four seeded players, including fourth seed Caroline Garcia in the fourth round, before meeting her match in Aryna Sabalenka.
Displaying little signs of nerve against the fifth-seeded Sabalenka, Linette burst out of the blocks, taking an early lead. However, the Belarusian fought back from 2-1, 40-0 down on her opponent’s serve to get back on serve before clinching the opener in a tiebreak.
Linette ran out of steam in the second set, as Sabalenka burst into a 4-1 lead. The Pole saved three match points in the seventh game but was powerless to stop Sabalenka from crossing the finish line.
World No. 1 Swiatek endured a surprise fourth-round exit. Nevertheless, she was thrilled with the 30-year-old Linette’s inspired run to the last four, congratulating her compatriot in a tweet:
“Mega gratulacje Magda (Huge congratulations Magda)! Sky is the limit”
Magda Linette is expected to break into the top 25 on Monday (January 30).
“I’m just proud that I could keep the level for so long” – Magda Linette
Magda Linette showed little signs of nerves despite playing in the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time this fortnight.
Although she came up short against Sabalenka, who reached her maiden Grand Slam final, Linette was happy to keep her high level of play for large swathes. She admitted the same in her post-match press conference while ruing about not capitalizing on her early lead.
“You always think you want to win. It’s tough when you feel like you had a little bit of a lead in the first set. Of course, it doesn’t mean I would win. It’s always nice if you can lead and have one break to still win a set,” she said.
“I’m definitely going to think a little bit about it. But I didn’t feel I did too much wrong. She played really well. I thought the level was very high of this match. I’m just proud that I could keep the level for so long and still come out today, tonight, on such a big occasion and feel I belong here and I still played my tennis,” Linette added.
Magda Linette will now head to Mexico or the USA for her next competitive outing.
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