Tearful Lucic-Baroni into fairytale semis

Venus Williams Australian Open 2017 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova women's singles quarterfinals

Venus Williams Australian Open 2017 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova women's singles quarterfinals

A year later she reached the Wimbledon semi-final.

"It's more than I dreamed of".She won the Junior US Open championship in 2008, and has landed two WTA titles at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in Den Bosch, The Netherlands. "I can't believe this".

Konta, 25, who made the semi-finals previous year in a breakthrough season, remained calm and collected but she could do nothing to stop Williams as she moved up another gear to close out the match.

But she was rewarded in ways more important than money too.

Seen as the next big thing when she made the 1999 Wimbledon semis as a 17-year-old, she has been waiting 18 years for another crack at a Grand Slam last four.

The Croat emerged on the scene at the same time as the Williams sisters in the late 1990s, but tennis took a back seat when she was forced to flee her abusive father.

Lucic-Baroni had been the story of the tournament, knocking out two of the Top 5 seeds in Agnieszka Radwanska and Brisbane International champion Karolina Pliskova, but it was clear from the outset that the match up against the World No.2 - their first since 1998 - favored the American's more consistent firepower on Wednesday. "I will never, ever forget forget this day and this last couple of weeks".

Williams then buried Lucic-Baroni with another service game and broke for the straight-sets victory. Unable to control her emotions, she stepped away from Rennae Stubbs's microphone.

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"This means a lot to every player to come and reach a semifinal but to me this is overwhelming after everything I have been through". I feel a little bit in shock right now.

"It was impossible, they need to change the centre court", she said of the sun at that end at that time of day.

When Stubbs asked her how she was feeling, she answered "I just felt extreme calm, I felt peace".

She lost confidence and gained weight. And if she had won the tournament?

And her unbelievable run in Melbourne has also fired her up to taste more success, and she is itching to get back on the practice court. Were she to do that this year it would cap off an incredible year.

"It's tough. I played 10 matches, I think, here".

"I kind of want to be known as an unbelievable fighter, a person who persevered against everything, against all odds", she said.

"At 34 years old, like I said before, I have a wonderful home".

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