Czech Barty-pooper Karolina Muchova has ensured that the wait for a home-grown Australian Open champion will extend to 44 long years.
Only two days ago, world No.1 Ash Barty warned anyone who cared to listen that her quarter-final opponent was “a hell of a player”.
After a sluggish start and a strategic medical time-out early in the second set, Muchova lived up to that billing on Wednesday, ousting Barty 1-6 6-3 6-2 to advance to an unlikely semi-final showdown with American Jennifer Brady.
“I think it was bit of the heat and it got to me,” said the 24-year-old Muchova, who hails from the scenic eastern Czech city of Olomouc.
“I was feeling kind of dizzy at some point, really lost and almost fainting.
“So, yeah, I just asked for help.
“Definitely they cooled me down with the ice.
“The doctor checked my pressure, my temperature and everything.”
Whatever it was the medical staff did, it worked.
The 25th-seeded Muchova could barely miss when the match resumed, while an increasingly flummoxed Barty racked up the unforced errors.
“I’m just trying to be really calm, to not think about previous mistakes and all of it,” said Muchova, whose other scalps at Melbourne Park this year include countrywoman and former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova and No.18 seed Elise Mertens.
“I’m definitely working on my mental side in this way.
“It’s a bit of my character that I’m kind of easygoing.
“On the court I’m just trying to keep focused and to be like chill.”
Muchova is pretty much going it alone in Australia, with coach David Kotyza and most of her support team following her progress from back home in the Czech Republic.