Melbourne: American tennis star Serena Williams was stunned by Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic in their quarter-final clash of the Australian Open but the former is full of praise for her opponent.
The 37-year-old said that Pliskova “played her best tennis ever” and “went crazy on match points” to outsmart her in the match.
“I think she just played well on my serve after that point. I think she just kind of started playing really, really good. I just think she was just nailing and hitting shots. I think she just played lights out on match point, literally, hitting lines. [She] just went crazy on match point….Obviously, I made some mistakes, but she played really well after that,” WTA quoted Williams, as saying.
“There’s nothing I did wrong on those match points. I didn’t do anything wrong. I stayed aggressive. She just literally hit the lines on some of them. One she hit an ace, unreturnable serve. I literally did everything I could on those match points. I can’t say that I choked on those match points. She literally played her best tennis ever on those shots,” she added.
While admitting that the defeat was a tough one for her, Serena said that she is still going to move ahead with a positive attitude.
“It’s definitely not easy for me. From day one, I expect to go out and, quite frankly, to win. That hasn’t happened, but I do like my attitude. I like that I don’t want to go out here and say, ‘I expect to lose because I had a year off, I’ve been playing for 10 months. I’m not supposed to win.’ I don’t have that attitude,” Serena said.
“I have the attitude of, I’ve only been playing 10 months, but I expect to win, and if I don’t, it’s disappointing. I rather think of it that way and know that it’s going to happen sooner or later than making an excuse for myself,” she added.
The American is just one Grand Slam title from equaling Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 major trophies and she believes that there is a lot more to be done before she gets hold of the title.
“Like I said, from the first tournament I’m thinking that I should win, which is not practical. I know there’s a lot of things that I need to do, a lot of things I need to do to get better, a lot of maybe more just matches,” she said
“I just feel like as close as I want to say that I’m there, I know that there’s a lot more than I need to do to kind of get there. Ten months, soon to be 11 months, soon it will be 12 months. It just takes time,” she added.
Serena had suffered a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 defeat at the hands of Pliskova after which the former was knocked out of the competition.