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Australian Open 2017: Cibulkova Becomes Latest Seed to Crash

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Dominika Cibulkova became the latest top seed to crash out of the Australian Open on Saturday when she was upset by Russian dark horse Ekaterina Makarova in a marathon third-round match.

Melbourne: Dominika Cibulkova became the latest top seed to crash out of the Australian Open on Saturday when she was upset by Russian dark horse Ekaterina Makarova in a marathon third-round match.

The Slovak sixth seed and WTA Finals champion joins third seed Agnieszka Radwanska and fourth-seeded Simona Halep as first-week casualties, blowing the draw wide open.

Makarova, 28, was never going to be a pushover.

Melbourne Park has been her most successful Grand Slam and her 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3 win in nearly three hours put her in the fourth round for a seventh consecutive time.


In 2015 she made a memorable run to the semi-finals, losing to Maria Sharapova, who is serving a drugs ban.

"It was an amazing match, an amazing fight," Makarova said. "This is my favourite Grand Slam and I really want to stay here.

"I want to enjoy this win today because it is my first against Dominika and she is a great player."

Seeded 30, her reward is a last-16 showdown with either British ninth seed Johanna Konta or Danish former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, who are both in good form.

It was a disappointing end for Cibulkova, who fell last year in the first round.


The Slovak, runner-up to China's Li Na in the 2014 final, looked out of sorts and was broken in her second service game after some probing baseline rallies.

She struggled to contain the left-hander's booming forehand and another sizzler down the line gave Makarova a second break to take control of the first set 4-1.

A frustrated Cibulkova began talking to herself between points and she pulled back a break when Makarova sprayed a forehand long and wide.

Makarova raced to a 4-0 second-set lead but Cibulkova then staged a stunning fightback, winning five games in a row as Makarova tired.

The Russian saved three set points in a 10th game that went for nine minutes before the set headed to a tiebreak, where Cibulkova prevailed.

After time off court during the changeover, Makarova returned and they traded breaks in an intense third set before Cibulkova sent a forehand wide to hand over the advantage.

It was all Makarova needed as she clung on for a famous victory.