Brilliant Cibulkova reaches first slam final

Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:28am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Simon Cambers

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Dominika Cibulkova was almost lost for words after she became the first Slovakian woman to reach a grand slam final by beating fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2 at the Australian Open on Thursday.

The 20th seed dominated the semi-final from the start and when Radwanska's final shot hit the net, she threw her racket in the air and fell on her back in delight.

The usually chatty 24-year-old, who will play China's Li Na in the final on Saturday at Melbourne Park, could barely describe her joy after one of the performances of her life.

"I still can't believe I am in the final," she said in a courtside interview. "I can't believe this is happening."

Radwanska went into the match as favorite having taken out the twice defending champion, Victoria Azarenka, in the previous round.

But the Pole was completely overpowered and outplayed by Cibulkova, who ran down everything and slammed winners on both sides.

Cibulkova won the first three games in a flash and though Radwanska got on the board in the fourth game, she stormed through the rest of the set.

Radwanska tried everything she could to mix the pace at the start of the second set but it had no impact as Cibulkova raced to a 4-0 lead.   Continued...

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia celebrates defeating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in their women's singles semi-final match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed