Magda Linette is one win away from the Australian Open final after stunning run at Melbourne Park

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Ahead of this year’s Australian Open, commentators and fans tipped a Polish player to break through and win the tournament for the first time.

Now, in the semifinals in Melbourne, a Polish player is still fighting for the women’s title, but it is not the most anticipated.

Polish world number one Iga Świątek was the favorite for the tournament, coming off a season in which she added a second French Open to her list and won the US Open for the first time.

But the three-time main champion exited the Australian Open in the fourth round, leaving unseeded Magda Linette as the only Pole remaining in the draw.

Linette, 45 in the world rankings, had never progressed past the third round of a major before arriving in Melbourne.

The 30-year-old’s track record at the Australian Open has been unremarkable, previously winning just three matches from six visits.

Linette has been a revelation these two weeks, knocking out three top-20 players – including world number four Caroline Garcia – en route to the quarter-finals.

Magda Linette defeated Karolína Plíšková to advance to the semifinals.(Getty Images: Mark Kolbe)

She knocked out former world number one Karolína Plíšková in the last eight, causing a clash with fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka for a spot in the final.

In light of her modest record with the majors, Linette could be forgiven for being overwhelmed when she took on a player of the caliber of Belarusian Sabalenka.

“I’ve played against so many great players,” said Linette after her quarter-final victory.

“It’s just nothing new to me. Just another game.”

Coming back from hard times

Although Linette, who ranks 33rd in the world, described her victory over Plíšková as a “dream come true”, she is not surprised to have made it to the semi-finals.

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