Share this story
Claim your Bonus
Get 100% up to SGD100 Bonus on your First Deposit
Maria Sharapova’s hopes of winning the Australian Open were stopped by Dominka Cibulkova who progressed to the quarter-finals thanks to a 4-6 6-3 6-1 victory.
The Russian, who struggled with a hip injury, was well below her best and made 45 unforced errors throughout the match.
She served eight double-faults and was broken on seven occasions as she struggled to cope with her opponent’s relentless pressure.
Sharapova missed the second half of last season through injury and the Grand Slam in Melbourne is only her second tournament back.
She went into the match in confident mood, having beaten her opponent in three of their last five matches, and started well, breaking three times as she took the first set.
The second set proved the turning point, with Cibulkova winning five games on the bounce while Sharapova was forced to take a medical timeout.
The win ensured that Cibulkova made the quarter-finals in Melbourne for the first time and she will now face Simona Halep who secured her place in the last eight with a 6-4 2-6 6-0 victory over Jelena Jankovic.
Speaking after the match, Cibulkova said: “I was 100 per cent sure I could win.
“I never doubted myself even when I lost the first set. I knew what I needed to do. The most important thing is to believe in yourself.”