Top seed Wozniacki suffers shock defeat

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The Independent Online

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki was hustled out of Wimbledon by hard-hitting Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round.

The Dane, world number one at the age of 20 despite not having a grand slam title to her name, looked in charge when she won the opening set in a hurry.

But Cibulkova, seeded 24th, turned the match around and triumphed 1-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-5.

There was no initial reason for Wozniacki to be particularly alarmed by the presence of 22-year-old Cibulkova on the other side of the net, although she had lost twice to the player from Bratislava in eight previous meetings.

Wozniacki's serve was functioning well and Cibulkova was perhaps overawed by the occasion, having never gone beyond the third round previously at Wimbledon.

The momentum changed in the second set, though, which was far tighter with Wozniacki unable to swat away the player she had dominated in the earlier stages.

It could still have been a straight-sets outcome in her favour, but equally Cibulkova had two chances before the tie-break to draw level.

Wozniacki saved both break points, but could not complete her task in the tie-break, meaning the deciding set was required.

It seemed that Wozniacki had put that setback behind her when a break of Cibulkova's serve in the second game of the decider put her in front.

But Cibulkova, who makes the most of her 5ft 3ins frame and strikes groundstrokes as fiercely as anyone, had an instant reply, breaking back.

They traded breaks once more until, at 5-5, Wozniacki suffered the blow which proved fatal to her Wimbledon hopes.

She fell love-40 behind on serve, and despite almost scrambling her way out of trouble, Cibulkova broke decisively before holding securely on her own delivery to set up a quarter-final tomorrow against tournament favourite Maria Sharapova.