Karolina Muchova is into the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in here career following a shock 7-5 7-5 victory over number six seed Karolina Pliskova on Rod Laver Arena.
Not only have the Czech pair trained together in quarantine and are good friends, but the compatriots have already battled twice in the slam arenab before. Pliskova prevailed over Muchova in the first round of this tournament in 2019. Later in the year, Muchova won a brilliant three hour, 17-minute epic in the Wimbledon last-16.
Again it was Muchova who came out on top, coming back from 5-0 down in the second set to knock out the 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist in one hour and 55 minutes.
The 24-year-old will play either Elise Mertens or Belinda Bencic in the next round.
Muchova secured a crucial break at 5-5 in the opening set when Pliskova double faulted, paving the way for the 25th seed to take the opener.
The match looked set to go to a third set when Pliskova, who made 40 unforced errors overall, raced in front as she began to find more joy at the net.
But Muchova, who also reached the US Open fourth round for the first time ever last year, rattled off seven games in a row to clinch it in stunning fashion.
“I am little sad,” Muchova said post-match. “We are very good friends but it’s a game so I’m definitely happy I made it through in two sets. We were both a little nervous.
“I must say when we played practices in the quarantine it was a bit different but I’m happy I’m through.
“I had a good run at Wimbledon and the US Open and it gave me confidence I could play these players. It’s everything about believing in yourself.
“I was happy yesterday morning when I found I would play on a bigger court then there’s going to be a crowd but now not for five days. It would be nice to have a crowd here but I just try to be in the zone and play my game.
“I played Elise [Mertens] last year. I’ve never played Belinda (Bencic) but both are very good players and tough so I’ll rest now and get ready for another battle.”