Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Serena Williams will not play in the 2019 Australian Open final after being eliminated by No. 7 Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals in Melbourne.
Pliskova was in trouble in the third set, as Williams led 5-1 and had a chance to win match point. But Williams faltered late. Pliskova won six consecutive points to advance to the next round.
"I literally did everything I could on those match points," Williams told reporters. I can't say that I choked on those match points. She literally played her best tennis ever on those shots. I can't really say it's incredibly painful as opposed to 'what can I do better?'"
Pliskova said she did not feel like she was going to win the match when facing the 5-1 deficit in the third set.
"She went for her serves," Pliskova said. "She went for the return. She was just putting pressure on me. I was more passive. Then suddenly I got a chance. That's how it is in tennis. You need luck, of course. This isn''t happening often, maybe once in life. I went for it. I just said whatever. This can be over, but I'll just try this game."
Osaka defeated No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-1 in her semifinal matchup on Wednesday. No. 8 Petra Kvitova battles Danielle Rose Collins in another semifinal clash Wednesday on the women's circuit.
Lucas Pouille defeated Miloes Raonic 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 in his quarterfinal matchup. The No. 28 seed will face No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a men's semifinal matchup on Friday. Djokovic beat Kei Nishikori to advance to the next round.
No. 14 Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals on Thursday.
"The big picture for me is always winning," Williams said. "I'm not going to sit here and lie about that. It hasn't happened yet but I feel like it's going to happen."
"I just have to keep taking it one match at a time and keep soldiering on."