Serena Williams says she “did not choke” after missing four match points as Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova won the final six games to win a dramatic Australian Open quarter-final.
The 37-year-old American, going for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, led 5-1 in the decider but lost 6-4 4-6 7-5 in Melbourne.
“I think she just played lights out on match points,” Williams said.
“I took my chances,” said Pliskova who won on her third match point.
Former world number one Pliskova will meet Japan’s fourth seed Naomi Osaka in the last four on Thursday with eighth seed Petra Kvitova taking on unseeded American Danielle Collins in the other semi-final.