Pliskova into last eight, hungry for grand slam success
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[January 23, 2017]
By Nick Mulvenney
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Karolina Pliskova
reached the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time on
Monday and is keen to prove right those tipping her for grand slam
The 24-year-old Czech was a surprise package when she stormed to the
U.S. Open final in September but arrived at Melbourne Park ranked
fifth in the world after winning a warm-up tournament in Brisbane.
Only one of the players seeded above her, six-times champion Serena
Williams, survived into the second week after the early exits of
world number one Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona
On Monday, Pliskova ended Australian interest in the singles draws
with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Daria Gavrilova on Rod Laver Arena to
set up a last-eight meeting with world number 79 Mirjana
"It was not my best but it's a win, so it counts," she said. "But
for sure we all know I can play better. But it was enough. It was
strange match, I would say, even from Dasha. I think she didn't also
play really well today.
"Even I didn't feel my game that well, I still think it was sort of
The 2010 Australian Open girls champion could face Serena Williams
in the semi-finals but said she was aware people were talking about
her as a potential grand slam winner.
"I'm feeling confident, much better than I did in the grand slams
before the U.S. Open. Everything is going my way now," she said.
[to top of second column]
Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova celebrates winning her Women's
singles fourth round match against Australia's Daria Gavrilova.
"Also with my form coming into this year, with winning the Brisbane,
I was really playing well there."
Pliskova said the extra expectation did put more pressure on her.
"I just don't want to think about it that much," she said.
"These things and this talking doesn't win me the matches."
"But I would like to prove that the people who are talking about me,
they are not wrong," she added with a smile.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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