Croat Lucic-Boroni into Melbourne Park semi-finals

Her opponent in the semifinals, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who beat fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, had a much longer wait to get back to this stage at a major - almost 18 years.

The 34-year-old Croatian, who had already taken down third seed Agnieszka Radwanska, claimed her second big scalp of the tournament with a 6-4 3-6 6-4 upset of fifth seed Karolina Pliskova at Rod Laver Arena.

"I can't believe this, this is insane", she said.

Serena Williams remained on course for her 23rd grand slam title by quelling the challenge of in-form Briton Johanna Konta 6-2 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the eighth time on Wednesday.

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"I haven't had a day off in weeks". "I know that they all want it, but I can never forget it, it's really incredible". By the age of 14 she had already won two junior grand slam titles at the USA and Australian Opens. She went off court for treatment and returned a different player, winning nine points in succession and 12 of the final 13 even though she was hampered. She won her debut pro event, the 1997 Croatian Bol Ladies Open, as a 15-year-old, and successfully defended the title the following year.

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni sank to her knees, made the sign of the cross and offered up a prayer of thanks for her victory.

Regarding the accusation that her father and his nephew had stolen her money, her father responded that his nephew, Milan Lucic, was a wealthy businessman who "had sponsored Mirjana and supported the rest of her family, paying their living costs and making repairs to their home in Makarska while she trained and traveled on the junior circuit", the New York Times reported in 1998.

Trailing 6-4, 2-1, Pliskova called for the trainer because of what appeared to be a blister on her right foot. I can't believe I'm in the semifinals again. Between 2004 and 2007 she competed in only six tournaments because she couldn't afford to travel to matches to further her career.

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The Czech reached last year's US Open final and won the Brisbane International earlier this month, leading more than a few to pick the 24-year-old as the Australian Open victor.

"I know this means a lot to every player to reach the semifinals. To see her in the semifinals is inspiring for me".

The 34-year-old took a medical timeout when trailing 3-4 in the final set against Pliskova on Wednesday, before returning to streak through the final three games in a match lasting one hour and 48 minutes. "This is insane, the only thing I can say is "God is good".

"I'm going to be just fine".

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Lucic-Baroni is surprised she is getting another chance at this stage of her career. "One day I will tell a long story about the things that have happened to me, but I can never dream of being here again", she said.


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