#1 Getzlaf remains uncertain. by jinshuiqian0713 09.01.2020 20:03

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Even in a Grand Slam as unpredictable as this years Australian Open, the names in the womens semifinals may still prompt head-scratching among casual followers of tennis. With the three biggest stars of the womens game falling one by one -- top-seeded Serena Williams, followed by Maria Sharapova and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka -- the door has opened for a first-time winner at Melbourne Park. Only fourth-seeded Li Na has won a Grand Slam before -- the 2011 French Open. Fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was the 2012 Wimbledon finalist, but had never been beyond the quarters in Melbourne until she chipped, lobbed and sliced Azarenka off the court in a remarkable display of shot-making on Wednesday. Dominika Cibulkova, a diminutive Slovakian who dispatched Sharapova in the fourth round, has made just one Grand Slam semifinal before, while 19-year-old Eugenie Bouchard is a only playing her fourth major -- she didnt even make it out of qualifying at last years Australian Open. With such a golden opportunity for one of the four to now break through and capture a major, the deciding factor in the semifinals may be who can best handle the pressure. "Of course, a couple seeded (players) are out. Doesnt mean its going to be easier and you have a title right away," Radwanska said. "Its a bit more pressure. This is the semifinal of a Grand Slam." Radwanska should know. The draw opened up similarly at Wimbledon last year when Williams and Sharapova were upset early and Azarenka pulled out with an injury, leaving the Polish player as the highest remaining seed and the favourite to capture her first major. Radwanska, however, crumpled in the semifinals against Sabine Lisicki, blowing a 3-0 lead in the third set. She said its natural to feel nervous in these situations. "I think in the beginning of the match its always a little bit tough, especially its the first semifinal," she said. "But hopefully after few games Im going to be myself and play my best tennis." Radwanska faces Cibulkova in the semis -- a player shes beaten four times in five matches, including a 6-0, 6-0 drubbing in the Sydney International final last year. Cibulkova knows she doesnt have a great record against Radwanska, but she takes inspiration from Stanislas Wawrinkas upset of four-time mens champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals after 14 consecutive losses to the Serb. "You just want to prove it to yourself that you can do it, and thats what (Wawrinka) did," Cibulkova said. Li, a two-time finalist at the Australian Open, has the most experience of any of the semifinalists playing in the latter stages of slams, but shes also been susceptible to buckling under pressure. Li was up a set in the finals here against Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Azarenka in 2013, only to falter both times. She also nervously wasted four match points in a fourth-round loss to Clijsters in 2012, breaking down in tears afterward. The Chinese star was almost out of this years tournament, as well, saving a match point against Lucie Safarova in the third round. Since then, however, shes appeared more focused on court, dropping just six games in her last two matches. The wild card is Bouchard. Li, who will be 32 next month, is 12 years older than the Canadian and has won their only previous meeting, but Bouchard is a rising talent with nothing to lose. She likes her chances in a tournament as topsy-turvy as this one. 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Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia will have surgery on his left shoulder this week and is expected to miss the rest of the season.After dropping both road games in Dallas, the Anaheim Ducks are regrouping for the trip back home for Game 5 of their first round series against the Stars on Friday. The status of the clubs leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf remains uncertain. The 28-year-old missed Game 4 and while he would not discuss the nature of his upper-body injury, the Ducks tweeted that he is hopeful to play on Friday. "Well know more tomorrow," said a frustrated Getzlaf. "Its not in my nature to step away from a game." Getzlaf had two goals and two assists in the first three games of the series. Head coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed thatt Getzlafs status remains "up in the air", according to a Ducks tweet.dddddddddddd Teemu Selanne was also absent from Game 4 after being scratched from the lineup by Boudreau. But on Thursday the veteran said he was willing to move forward from the decision. "I told Bruce its a new day, and the series starts now," explained Selanne. "There are no hard feelings. We move on." Matt Beleskey, who is nursing a lower-body injury and only played in the first game of the series, skated at the Honda Center on Thursday. He said that he hopes to be back "in the near future". ' ' '

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