Ashleigh Barty will compete 14th in the Australian Open semi-final against American Sofia Kenin after world number 1 defeated Petra Kvitova in two sets on Tuesday.
The first and last Australian of the tournament survived a tough opening series and prevailed against the Czech seventh with 7: 6 (8: 6), 6: 2 and reached the semi-finals for the first time.
This was revenge for 23-year-old Barty after double Wimbledon champion Kvitova beat her on the same stage last year in Melbourne.
But the down-to-earth Australian is a better player than 12 months ago, won the French Open last year and reached the top of the leaderboard for the first time.
"It was absolutely incredible. I knew I had to do my best against Petra today and that first sentence was crucial," said Barty.
Barty has been trying to become the first Australian woman since Chris O & # 39; Neil won the Down Under women's title in 1978.
29-year-old Kvitova, who sustained a serious injury to her left hand in a knife attack at her home in 2016, and Barty went from hand to hand in a crucial seventh game of the first set.
In a game that lasted almost 10 minutes, Barty battled five breakpoints to keep the serve at the Rod Laver Arena.
In a tense encounter, they went to a draw, but it was Kvitova who blinked and pushed a forehand to give Barty the set in 69 minutes of high quality.
Barty, who once gave up tennis to play professional cricket, clenched her fist. Kvitova threw her bat in the air.
Barty pulled back in the second set when Kvitova wilted in Melbourne's sun.
The Australian sealed the deal with minimal effort and booked her place in the last four with an ace.
Kenin & # 39; super excited & # 39;
Kenin, Coco Gauff's conqueror, reached her first major semi-final earlier when the American finished the historic run of Tunisian Ons Jabeur.
The 21-year-old, who was born in Moscow and defeated 15-year-old Gauff in the preliminary round, beat the vacant Jabeur 6: 4: 6: 4 and said she was "super excited".
"It was a tough game," said Kenin, who moved to New York with her family as a baby and only got a few hundred dollars in the name.
Kenin said holding her serve at 3-2 in the second set in a 10-minute game was a turning point.
"It was a tough moment, she played well. I didn't know it was 10 minutes, but it felt quite long," she said. "But after that I got my swing and started playing better."
The 78th Jabeur was the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final.