Aryna Sabalenka and Magda Linette will square off in the semifinals.

Magda Linette defeated Karolina Pliskova to advance to the Australian Open semifinals, where she will play fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka.

In 29 attempts, the Polish player who is ranked 45th in the world had never advanced past the third round of a Grand Slam.

But she shown courage in a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Pliskova, a Czech who has advanced to two major finals.

Sabalenka of Belarus defeated Donna Vekic of Croatia 6-3, 6-2 to go to her fourth Grand Slam semifinal.

“I’m so emotional. I can’t really believe it. It is really a dream come true. I’m super grateful and happy,” Linette, 30, said.

“I will never forget this. This will stay with me for life.”

Two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka plays Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the other semi-final on Thursday.

Given the success of world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, many would have assumed that Poland would be represented in the last round of the women’s draw.

However, Linette’s finest Grand Slam run continued at Melbourne Park as she defeated the former world number one Pliskova, ending Swiatek’s attempt in the fourth round.

The uncompromising Linette, who had strong support on the main show court, overcame being broken in the first game of the match to take control of the set by winning five of the next six games.

After losing her first set of the tournament, Pliskova threw her racquet aside in despair, but her lack of experience in the second week at a Slam did not show as she saved a break point before serving out the set.

Linette’s confidence was obvious against a struggling Pliskova after she defeated world number four Caroline Garcia on her way to the last eight.

The Pole generated three opportunities of her own in the fifth and seventh games as she looked for a knockout blow after saving two break points at 2-1 in the second set.

With Pliskova increasingly troubled by a wrist injury, Linette was eventually able to capitalise on a break opportunity before serving out the biggest win of her career.

“I think all my life I’ve been taking mistakes and losses very personally,” Linette said. “My coaches did a really great job and I’m thankful to them because they put up with a lot.”

Sabalenka and Vekic were unbeaten as they reached the 2023 Australian Open quarterfinals, but both players battled to find their groove in a shoddy opening set that was full of double faults and unforced errors.

Prior to the match, Vekic acknowledged that she had twice thought about giving up tennis after struggling to regain her form after knee surgery in 2021.

A big turning point in her recovery was when she reached her first quarterfinal in a major tournament since the 2019 US Open.

With world number 64 Vekic failing to convert any of her ten break point opportunities, it was the big-hitting Sabalenka who prevailed in a tense hour-long start.

With a double break to begin the second set, Sabalenka further tightened her hold on the match before Vekic fought back with a break of her own.

The Croat’s flimsy dreams of a comeback, however, were immediately dashed by Sabalenka, who quickly restored her double break with an excellent forehand winner to make it 4-1 before fending off three break points to serve out the match.

“It feels really special to be in the semi-finals,” said Sabalenka. “I’m super happy with the win.”