Sharapova Knocked Out Of Australian Open
Posted by Rudy Martinez on Jan 20, 2014 - 3:16:18 PM
MELBOURNE—For the second time in less than a year, an injury took Maria Sharapova’s dominating tennis game on a vacation. Another big name in the tournament fell fast in the second set only to be eliminated from the 2014 Australian Open by 20th ranked Dominika Cibulkova of
Slovakia 3-6, 6-4 and 6-1 on Sunday. It became the fifth time since 2003 that the tennis superstar dropped out prior to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Russian powerhouse surviving the last two opponents, Sharapova could see less powerful players left in the tournament with Serena Williams eliminated the day before. The current adversary had been a thorn in Sharapova’s side as the series meeting between the two left Cibulkova leading the matches 2 games to 1. Sharapova, clearly aware of the history, came out in the first set with the Slovakian making numerous errors to fall 6-3.
Dominika Cibulkova defeated Maria Sharapova on Sunday.
What no one saw coming was an injury that none really viewed as an issue in the game except for Sharapova. Losing the first four games straight in the second set to Cibulkova who managed eight consecutive points gave a clear indication that the 6 foot 2 blonde was in serious trouble. She pulled out all the stops to come back 4-4, but dropped the last two to her current rival.
After the end of the second, Sharapova took a medical timeout to deal with a hip strain on the left side of her body. The injury came to be too much for her as she barely notched a game to prevent the third set from becoming a sweep. The victory for Cibulkova became the first time she made the quarterfinals in her career.
“I was 100 percent sure I could win this match,” Cibulkova said in an on-court interview. “I was not doubting myself even when I lost the first set I was not playing the way I wanted and I just knowing what I had to do and doing exactly the right things.”
Cibulkova defeated Sharapova back at the 2009 French Open quarterfinals with a second coming in a non-Grand Slam event.
The tournament as a whole takes on a new look with two of the top players out of the tournament, leaving Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka in fine shape to win a third straight title. Cibulkova meets against eleventh seeded Simona Halep of
Romania who makes her first appearance in a quarterfinal event after knocking out Jelena Jankovic in the fourth round.