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Monday, 26 January 2015

Melbourne: Feisty Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova scrapped like a streetfighter to grind down two-time champion Victoria Azarenka and reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Monday.

Cibulkova, beaten in last year's final by Li Na, weathered the inevitable comeback by the Belarusian blaster and ran her ragged in a match of the highest quality to earn the 6-2 3-6 6-3 win.

The pint-sized 25-year-old blasted 44 winners and broke Azarenka twice in the deciding set, sealing it when her opponent netted after two hours and 10 minutes.

Cibulkova will play the winner of Serena Williams and Garbine Muguruza for a place in the semi-finals.

Maria Sharapova was all business Sunday as she set up a glamour Australian Open quarter-final with Eugenie Bouchard as Rafael

Nadal and Andy Murray continued their unrelenting Grand Slam march.

The Russian world number two ended Chinese hopes by swatting aside 21st seed Peng Shuai 6-3, 6-0 as she lifts her game the deeper she goes in the tournament.

But Sharapova's boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov was turfed out by never-say-die British sixth seed Andy Murray, who won the last five games to battle through a pulsating night match on Rod Laver Arena 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-5.

Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, was dominant after a tight first set against power-hitting South African Kevin Anderson, running out a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 winner and will next play Czech Tomas Berdych for a place in the semi-finals.

The consistent Berdych, who made the final four last year, ended Australian Bernard Tomic's tournament with a comfortable 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 hit-out.

Another Australian, teenager Nick Kyrgios, managed to achieve what Roger Federer could not by beating dogged Italian Andreas Seppi 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) 8-6.

The 19-year-old becomes the first home-grown quarter-finalist in Melbourne since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 with a face-off against Murray his reward.




Today's E-Paper


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