Kim Clijsters ignored artillery fire and a noisy aerobatics display to set up a heavyweight Australian Open semi-final on Wednesday.
Three-time Grand Slam-winner Clijsters beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to reach her sixth Australian Open semi.
Clijsters was badly distracted by celebrations marking Australia Day, a national public holiday, including a thunderous 21-gun salute nearby.
Clijsters was later put off by a formation fly-past by military jets which screamed low over Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena as she played Radwanska.
Clijsters overcame a high mistake rate to see off Poland’s Radwanska, who played a limited game but stayed in the match with some scrambling defence, taking advantage of the Belgian’s 37 unforced errors.
“I didn’t feel that great,” said the Belgian. “I felt heavy in the legs — I felt tired out there but I just hung in there.”
World number one Caroline Wozniacki will face China’s Li Na in Thursday’s other semi-final, with both women seeking their first Grand Slam wins.
Britain’s Andy Murray was playing Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the men’s quarter-finals, while top seed Rafael Nadal was due to face Spanish compatriot David Ferrer later.