Sunday, June 03, 2012

2012 FRENCH OPEN: Cibulkova Shocks Azarenka

World #1 Victoria Azarenka barely escaped losing her first round match but had looked solid in the following two rounds until she ran into a diminutive scythe named Dominika Cibulkova, the #15 seed, who won their showdown 6-2 7-6(4). It was only Azarenka's 4th loss of the year (losses to Marion Bartoli in Miami, Maria Sharapova in the Stuttgart final and Serena Williams in the Madrid final). In fact, Cibulkova was the last person that Azarenka had beaten in her 26-match win streak to start the year. In a now-classic match in Miami, Cibulkova lead 6-1, 5-2 when the wheels came off leading to an epic collapse and Azarenka eventually came back to win 1-6, 7-6(7), 7-5.

In today's match, Cibulkova lead 6-2, 4-2 and had points to take a 5-2 lead when the wheels came off and Azarenka was able to win 4 games in a row to serve for the set at 6-5 but was unable to hold serve due to a double fault and several unforced errors, leading to a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Cibulkova kept going for her shots and on match point used a well-placed drop shot to pull Azarenka forward and off-balance before finishing her off with a backhand into the now-open court to complete the upset of the #1 seed.

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