Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cibulkova takes down "World Number 1" Caroline Wozniacki

World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki stumbled in her first match of the 2011 season on Tuesday, dropping her opening match at the Medibank International Sydney to Dominika Cibulkova, 6-3 6-3.

Wozniacki, the No.1 seed, had won her last nine sets against Cibulkova, but the No.32-ranked Slovak made a statement early on, breaking Wozniacki at 15 in the opening game en route to taking the first set. After falling behind 2-3 she took four straight games to cap her first win over a reigning No.1.

"At the start of the new season you need to get into match play. I didn't feel I was playing great tennis out there," Wozniacki said. "Now I just need to get some training matches, head to Melbourne and get ready for the Australian Open. Last year I had the same start, so hopefully slow start, good finish."

"My dad saw her play yesterday, and she was playing really well against Maria Kirilenko too," Wozniacki added. "I've played her quite a few times and we've always had quite long matches before, so I knew it wasn't going to be easy."

Cibulkova's best previous win came against a No.2-ranked Jelena Jankovic at Montréal in 2008. She had been 0-3 against reigning No.1s, losing to Jankovic (in 2008), Dinara Safina (in 2009) and Serena Williams (in 2010).

"I think I've beaten No.2, No.3, No.4, No.5 and everybody, just not No.1. So I'm really happy about it," Cibulkova beamed afterwards. "The most important thing today was I went on the court and saw myself like a winner from the first point until the last point. So it wasn't a surprise for me - I just played my game. I had my plan. I knew it was going to work if I just stuck to my plan."

World No.2 Vera Zvonareva also lost, falling to Flavia Pennetta, 7-5 7-5. The result may seem surprising given Pennetta is ranked 22 spots below Zvonareva at No.24, but it can be deceiving - Pennetta has been in the Top 10 and had won three of their last four meetings (now four of their last five meetings).

Zvonareva's pre-quarterfinal loss means Kim Clijsters has a shot at moving to No.2 if she wins this title. The No.3-seeded Clijsters kept on rolling towards that goal in her match, beating qualifier Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 6-1 6-4.

In other matches, Svetlana Kuznetsova upset No.4 seed and Australian No.1 Samantha Stosur, 3-6 6-3 6-4; No.7 seed Victoria Azarenka beat Shahar Peer, 7-5 6-3; No.8 seed Li Na rallied past qualifier Virginie Razzano, 6-4 1-6 6-4; Alisa Kleybanova handled María José Martínez Sánchez, 6-2 6-4; and in the last match, Aravane Rezai will face qualifier Bojana Jovanovski.


Carlos said...

Lets recap: McCurse took down The Big Stuffed Bunny, I take it Cibulkova kept her cool this time around. Should I dedicate the song "Under Pressure" to The Bunny?

So much for destroying opponents in exhibition tournaments, Vera Z. couldn't cut the muster in a real tournament going down in her first match of the season in straight sets. That is why I don't take stock in exhibitions. :P

Peer went down to Azarenka not a hot start for her either, she struggled in this tournament from the get go.

Stosur took down Wicki, Wicki, Wicki, I'll shut up now. :P Nowadays players shouldn't play back to back tournaments they never fair well in the second tournament, specially when they make deep runs in the first tournament (reaching semis or finals).

Keeping an eye on Kuzzy.

Bojana J. took down Kanepi and Rezai good run, looks promising for the youngster.

Good QF matches Azarenka vs.Kim, Can Ms. Attitude step it up? Li Na vs. Kuzzy, Can Kuzzy make an statement by winning the tournament or by winning the tournament the spot light will be on her, making her a favorite for AO 11 = pressure = choke? Bojana vs. Flavia does the kid have have it or will the veteran continue to be a force to be reckon with? Kleybanova Vs. Cibulkova will the diminutive one have a let down or will "Miss Sweaty" be the surprise of the tournament?

Looking forward to all the answers.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

A very good song to have dedicated to The Big Stuffed Bunny! And very firtting!

I know, she really stumbled against Panetta!

Peer, was always going to loose to Azarenka IMO.

That backs up a theory I have that, when players either play well in Miami or Inadian Wells and then poorly in the other! It doesn't happen always, but I find it happens more often than not.

I think Kuzzy losing to Li was a good thing, ther pressure going further and further away!

Bjoana is now in Semi's destroyed Panetta!

There are some very high quality QF match ups, I am most looking forward to Kim Kong and Vika!

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