“My head was spinning,” says Karolina Muchova after battling to Barty win
Czech 25th seed Karolina Muchova overcame dizziness to beat top seed Ashleigh Barty and reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.
Muchova, the world number 27, defeated world number one and home favourite Barty 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the last eight in extreme heat on Rod Laver Arena.
“It was very tough and I was a bit lost on the court, and my head was spinning so I took a break,” Muchova said.
“It helped me. I tried to get back, played a bit faster rallies so we don’t play the long ones as in the first set and it worked well.”
Barty, widely tipped to become the first Australian woman to win the Australian Open since 1978, did not blame Muchova’s medical timeout for her loss, saying that “it’s not my place to comment whether she had an injury or not.
“If she wasn’t within the rules, the physios and the doctors would have said so. That’s the laws of our game, is that we have those medical timeouts for cases that are needed.”
Muchova will face American 22nd seed Jennifer Brady for a place in the final, after the latter defeated compatriot Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 to back up her 2020 US Open semi-final appearance.
“We’re such good friends. I know we will have many more tough battles,” Brady said after the match.
“I felt the pressure from her. She’s such an aggressive player.”
The winner of the Muchova-Brady semi-final will earn the right to play either tennis legend Serena Williams, or three-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open final on Saturday.