Karolína Plíšková: Czech hits luckiest shot ever as she reaches Italian Open semis


Karolína Plíšková is through to the semi-finals of the Italian Open in extraordinary fashion after surviving three match points against Jelena Ostapenko.

The ninth seed fought back from a set down to win 4-6 7-5 7-6 and set up a meeting with Petra Martić.

However, the 29-year-old’s win was not without a large slice of fortune. At 5-6 down in the final set, Plíšková was battling to force a tie-break and was serving to stay in the match. Down 40-15, Ostapenko looked to have won the next rally as she hit an overhead smash, only for Plíšková’s return to clip the next and drop over the net by mere inches.

One commentator described the point as “incredible”, while another exclaimed “no way.” Ostapenko was left visibly irate and will perhaps rue not putting the point to bed earlier.

Plíšková would go on to win the game and the resulting tie-break to win the match and move a step closer to her first title of 2021.

Rome has always been a favourable tournament for the Czech, who won the competition in 2019 and has now reached the semis three years in a row. 

It’s been a tough year for the former world number one, though, having fallen to ninth in the world rankings –– her lowest since 2018.

After losing in the third round at the Australian Open, Plíšková lost in the second round at Doha and the third round at Miami –– falling to Jessica Pegula on both occasions.

Despite winning 16 WTA titles, the 29-year-old is still searching for her first Grand Slam. In 2016, she reached the final of the US Open but lost to Angelique Kerber in three sets.

Yet, this victory could help the Czech star regain some confidence at long last. With just two weeks to go until the French Open, a title now would come at the perfect time.

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