Once again Serena Williams’ grand slam campaign has been a case of so near, but so far.

The 37-year old Serena was on a mission to equal Margaret Court's record 24 Grand Slam titles but that mission has been thwarted by Karolina Pliskova, who will now go on to face Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semi-finals.

Serena had beaten world number one Simona Halep in the fourth round  but unfortunately, she caved in against the big-serving Czech seventh seed, who saved four match points before winning 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 under the hot Melbourne sun.

Since returning last year from giving birth, Williams has made four unsuccessful attempts to match Court's record, and the wait continues with the French Open in May her next chance.

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For Pliskova, it is only her third semi-final at a major.

She made the last four at Roland Garros in 2017 and the US Open a year earlier, where she beat Williams before losing the final to Angelique Kerber.

Asked about facing Osaka next, Pliskova replied: "She's dangerous but nobody is more dangerous than Serena."


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