Wozniacki blows it with Cibulkova defeat

Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:13pm EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

LONDON (Reuters) - Caroline Wozniacki might never get a better chance to win a grand slam title but the world number one and top seed blew it Monday when she lost 1-6 7-6 7-5 to big-hitting Slovak Dominika Cibulkova in a gripping Wimbledon fourth-round match.

With Serena and Venus Williams going out Monday, the women's singles competition looks the most open for years but it is Cibulkova rather than Wozniacki now hoping to take advantage after she showed grit to recover from a first-set drubbing.

Dane Wozniacki, playing with the confidence gained from five WTA titles this year, had reached the second week with the minimum of fuss, winning all her matches in straight sets and dropping only 12 games, the least by any player in the tournament.

She maintained that form in a quickfire first set and few in the crowd would have suspected an upset was on the cards.

However, Cibulkova pulled herself together in the second set and, playing far more aggressively, took the game to the top seed.

Unleashing the huge forehands that belie her diminutive stature, the Slovak 24th seed forced a tiebreak which she took 7-5 to ask the world number one a serious question for the first time in the tournament.

The third set was all over the place with two breaks apiece in the first six games as the two women backed themselves to overpower the other from the baseline.

It then went with serve to 5-5, when Cibulkova again broke.   Continued...