Collins moves past Pavlyuchenkova, into Aus Open semis

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'Absolutely. I needed to take that time away, ' she said. In one of the most important matches of her career to date, the 22-year-old from Ipswich, Queensland dropped the first set on Sunday night, only to come back in dramatic fashion to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Watch & bet on Petra Kvitova v Ashleigh Barty live with bet365 here* on Tuesday, January 22.

"She's an absolute champion". Barty came into the Australian Open with all eyes on her and is now the last Australian standing across both singles draws.

On day nine of the Australian Open, the fairytale runs of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Danielle Collins were also extended as they too swept into the last four.

"I always wanted to come back and play on the highest level I can, compete with the best, play the Grand Slams, actually be very deep in the Grand Slam, which is happening". Barty would frequently call her parents, in tears, from her hotel room. But after the match, she said that she has been working had to control her nerves at the big stage.

Kvitova is on a 10-match winning streak after winning the title in Sydney, where she beat Barty in the final, in the week before coming to Melbourne Park.

The American was "wildly impressed" with the performance of the Athenian but admitted she hates to see Federer lose. "I was nervous during this tournament as well, especially the first round", she recalled. Just the truth, I guess.

"I'm just here to enjoy the tennis".

This is her first Grand Slam semi-final after her comeback from surgery.

Barty will next face dual Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova for a place in the semi-finals as she bids to end Australia's 41-year title drought.

There hasn't been an Australian victor of the home Grand Slam in 41 years, since Chris O'Neil won the women's title on grass in 1978.

Sharapova methodically seized the opening set with the only break in the ninth game, yet Barty settled in the second set as Sharapova's notoriously unreliable serve deserted the 2008 champion.

Barty is a more mature individual after 18 months off the tour from 2014-16.

Barty took more than a year away from tennis to play professional cricket and she thinks this has helped to revive her career on the court.

Kvitova underwent almost four hours of surgery on Tuesday at a specialised clinic in the northern town of Vysoke nad Jizerou. In her own words, this is "first semi-final of her second career".

"In the second set, she doesn't give me anything for free and I really had to fight".

They have played three times with the 28-year-old Czech prevailing in all three - most recently 1-6 7-5 7-6 (3) in the scintillating Sydney final.

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Next up for the 35th-ranked Collins on Tuesday will be Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who reached her fifth Grand Slam quarterfinal by coming back to beat 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3 in a match that ended at almost 2 a.m.

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