16 December 2017
   
Zanu PF thanks Sadc for role in Mugabe ouster
Free education for the poor, declares Zuma
Oppah new Zanu PF chair; but no VPs yet
Tsvangirai sought ED talks: Mugabe priest
G40’s Sekeramayi axed from politburo
Man strips for sex with donkey; nabbed
Sperm harvesters hit SA; man raped
Mnangagwa vows new path for Zanu PF
MORE NEWS
Indigenisation: IMF welcomes changes
Vic Falls Bridge toll fees introduced
MORE BUSINESS
Divisive South African film eyes Oscars
Zimbabwe totes obsessed with Zodwa
MORE SHOWBIZ
Jose Mourinho faces Ibrahimovic dilemma
FIFA threatens Spain with W-Cup ban
MORE SPORTS
Change must follow Mugabe’s fall
Coup: why the China role theory is hollow
MORE OPINION
 
Chivayo and the groupie effect
Nelson Chamisa on Washington trip
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Sharapova crashes out of Australian Open
19/01/2014 00:00:00
by Reuters
 
 
RELATED STORIES
US Open: Serena wins 18th grand slam

MARIA Sharapova's quest for a second Australian Open title was halted in the fourth round on Monday when the third seeded Russian ran out of steam against an inspired Dominika Cibulkova, who emerged with a 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

After her Slovakian opponent had levelled the match, the 2008 champion took a medical time-out before and third set for treatment on a hip injury but Sharapova was reluctant to use that as an excuse for her shock defeat.

"Those aches and pains are expected when you spend a long time on the court," Sharapova said after she became the second former champion to crash out in the fourth round following world number one Serena Williams’ loss on Sunday.

"I haven't been playing the best tennis of this tournament, but I found ways to get through to the last two matches.

"Tried to do that again today, but she played extremely well."

Sharapova, despite being rusty after missing the latter part of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury had been expected to comfortably advance against the diminutive Slovakian despite Cibulkova having beaten her in a grand slam before.

Cibulkova overcame Sharapova on her preferred surface of clay at the 2009 French Open and it was the first time the pair had met on hard courts which should have favoured the Russian's power game, though the Slovakian was supremely confident.

"I went on the court, and I was... 100 percent sure that I really can beat her. I can beat her on the big court, in the important match, you know, on the grand slam," Cibulkova said.

"I did it before, and I knew she knows me. I also knew that she knows it's going to be a tough match."

Sharapova has struggled with her serve throughout the tournament and her woes continued on Monday, and she was unable to dictate rallies from the baseline.

Cibulkova had three break points throughout the first set though Sharapova fought them off until serving for the set at 5-2 when she faltered.

Cibulkova, however, could not consolidate the break and her third double fault handed Sharapova the set 6-3 in 39 minutes.

The 20th seed raced to a 5-0 lead in the second set as the Russian's range and accuracy deserted her before Sharapova somehow rattled off the next four games to give her a sniff of sneaking into the quarter-finals in straight sets.



Advertisement

The 24-year-old Cibulkova, however, held her nerve to hold serve and send it into a decider.

Sharapova then took the medical time-out but was unable to halt Cibulkova's momentum as the Slovak jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and raced through to win the set and reach her first Australian Open quarter.

"Actually I didn't know," Cibulkova said when told she had made her first quarter-final at Melbourne Park.

"I just realise now. It's great, you know. I think this was the only grand slam where I just had my fourth round and a couple of bad losses.

"It feels great and especially I played well and it was a tough match.

"I came out from one set down. This is what makes me really strong and proud of myself."


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark

 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker