Australian Open highlights: Dominika Cibulkova upsets Agnieszka Radwanska to set up women's singles final with Li Na

20th seed Dominika Cibulkova beats fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 to set up a women's singles final with Chinese fourth seed Li Na.

Updated: January 23, 2014 12:40 IST
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11:38 (IST): Dominika Cibulkova will play in her first Grand Slam final against fourth seed Li Na on Saturday.

11:18 (IST): 20th seed Dominika Cibulkova beats fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 to set up a final with Chinese player Li Na in the women's singles event of the Australian Open.

11:14 (IST): Agnieszka Radwanska will now serve to stay in the match at 2-5 after Cibulkova holds serve. (1-6, 2-5)

11:06 (IST): Agnieszka Radwanska still fighting hard to stay in this match. Gets a break of serve to trail at 1-4. (1-6, 1-4)

11:02 (IST): Dominika Cibulkova is now up a double break in the second set. She leads 4-0. (6-1, 4-0)

10:52 (IST): Dominika Cibulkova is making quick progress in this match. She breaks Radwanska in the second set to lead 2-0. (6-1, 2-0)

10:49 (IST): Dominika Cibulkova holds serve in the first game of the second set without losing a point. Leads 1-0 (6-1, 1-0)

10:44 (IST): Dominika Cibulkova wins the first set 6-1 after 38 minutes.

10:41 (IST): Agnieszka Radwanska will now serve to stay in the first set at 1-5 after Cibulkova holds serve.

10:34 (IST): Dominika Cibulkova drives home a double break advantage. Leads 4-1 in the first set.

10:31 (IST): Dominika Cibulkova holds serve after a seesaw battle to lead 3-1 in the first set.

10:20 (IST): Agnieszka Radwanska tries to claw her way back into the first set after being broken in the first game of the match. She trails 1-2.

Match Preview:

Agnieszka Radwanska plays Dominika Cibulkova, an old friend, with both making the Australian Open last four for the first time.

The pair, from bordering countries, are both 24 and have known each other since they were children, when they played each other in under-nine and under-10 tournaments.

"I think it's always tricky to play someone that you know for so long, play so many times, as well," said Radwanska, who stunned Azarenka in the quarter-finals with her aggressive tennis.

"Like I'm saying, every match is a different story, especially when it's a semi-final of a Grand Slam, the first semis for me and for her as well. We'll see," Radwanska said.

While Radwanska won their last meeting in Tokyo in 2013, Cibulkova beat the Pole in the final at Standford earlier that year -- the only win against her in six attempts at WTA level.

"I just want to keep my focus, you know, to stay aggressive," said Cibulkova, who accounted for Sharapova in the fourth round, on how she will approach the semi-final.

Radwanska vs Cibulkova head to head

Radwanska leads Cibulkova 5-1:


Tokyo, Radwanska won 6-4, 6-0

Stanford - Cibulkova won 3-6, 6-4, 6-4

Sydney International - Radwanska won 6-0, 6-0


US Open - Radwanska won 6-0, 6-3

Doha - Radwanska won 6-4, 6-7 (1/7), 6-4


Budapest - Radwanska won 6-4, 6-0.

Radwanska vs Cibulkova road to the semis:

Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland, 5th seed):

Round 1 - beat Yulia Putintseva (Kazakhstan) 6-0, 5-7, 6-2

Round 2 - beat Olga Govortsova (Belarus) 6-0, 7-5

Round 3 - beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia, 29th seed) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2

Round 4 - beat Garbine Muguruza (Spain) 6-1, 6-3

Quarter-finals - beat Victoria Azarenka (Belarus, 2nd seed, defending champion) 6-1, 5-7, 6-0

Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia, 20th seed):

Round 1 - beat Francesca Schiavone (Italy) 6-3, 6-4

Round 2 - beat Stefanie Voegele (Switzerland) 6-0, 6-1

Round 3 - beat Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain, 16th seed) 6-1, 6-0

Round 4 - beat Maria Sharapova (Russia, 3rd seed) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

Quarter-finals - beat Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0.

How Radwanska knocked out defending champion Azarenka

The determined Pole battled to a 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 win to send the Belarusian packing with the top three seeds now out of the Grand Slam following the defeats of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

It was a major scalp for Radwanska, who had lost all seven previous meetings with the Belarusian, and now goes into a semi-final with Slovak 20th seed Dominika Cibulkova.

The win also ensures the tournament will have a new champion with none of the semi-finalists -- Radwanska, Cibulkova, Li Na and Eugenie Bouchard -- having won before.

"It is always hard against her. I have lost so many times that (I knew) I had to play aggressive and go for my every shot. That's what I tried to do and it worked today," she said.

One of Radwanska's biggest challenges was to block out Azarenka's grunting, which has frustrated her in the past. (Read more)

When 'short' Cibulkova entered her first major semi-final

Dominika Cibulkova won the last eight games in a one-hour, 6-3, 6-0 quarterfinal rout Wednesday of No. 11-seeded Simona Halep of Romania at the Australian Open.

The diminutive Cibulkova, among the shortest women on the WTA tour at 1.61 meters (5-feet-3), pounded Halep from the back of the court to progress to her first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2009 French Open. It was her second win in five major quarterfinals and served as a harsh lesson for Halep, who was appearing in her first.

Halep only won 10 points in the second set as Cibulkova relentlessly attacked.

(Road to semis, head-to-head courtesy AFP)

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