Pliskova takes 1st set in QF against Williams

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest at the Australian Open on Wednesday (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Karolina Pliskova has taken the first set off Serena Williams in their Australian Open quarterfinal.

The seventh-seeded Pliskova broke Williams’ serve in the third game and held serve from there to win the first set 6-4, closing with an ace.

The 26-year-old Czech player is one set from becoming just the fifth active player to beat Williams twice or more at major tournaments.

Williams is aiming for a record-tying 24th major title. She lost to Pliskova in the U.S. Open semifinals in 2016, but leads their career head-to-heads 2-1 after winning their quarterfinal match at last year’s U.S. Open.

The winner of Wednesday’s match will meet U.S. Open champion and fourth-seeded Naomi Osaka in the semifinals.

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12:28 p.m.

Naomi Osaka has reached her first semifinal at the Australian Open with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Elina Svitolina.

Osaka used her aggressive style and big hitting to compile a 31-11 edge in winners, including eight aces.

The No. 4-seeded Osaka is the reigning U.S. Open champion. She never had been past the fourth round at Melbourne Park.

Svitolina had her neck and shoulders massaged by a trainer during a medical timeout while trailing 3-0 in the second set.

Osaka’s semifinal opponent will be 23-time major champion Serena Williams or No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova.

Osaka beat Williams for the championship at Flushing Meadows last year in a match filled with all sorts of drama involving the American star and the chair umpire.

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10:30 a.m.

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka can set up a rematch of their chaotic U.S. Open final by winning quarterfinal matches at the Australian Open.

The No. 4-seeded Osaka faces No. 6 Elina Svitolina in the first quarterfinal in Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

That will be followed by Williams’ matchup against No. 7 Karolina Pliskova.

Osaka beat Williams for the championship in New York last September in a match filled with all sorts of drama involving the American star and the chair umpire.

In Wednesday’s men’s quarterfinals at Melbourne Park, 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic faces No. 28 Lucas Pouille during the day, while 14-time major champion Novak Djokovic takes on 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori at night.

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