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Wozniacki crashes out; Williamses lose

Dominant Murray advances to his fourth straight Wimbledon quarterfinal

— PHOTO: AFP

PINT-SIZED DYNAMO: The diminutive Dominika Cibulkova, a semifinalist at Roland Garros in 2009, made yet another strong statement, beating World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki to advance to the quarterfinals.

LONDON: World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki crashed out of the Wimbledon championships as Slovakian 24th seed Dominika Cibulkova secured a shock 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 victory over the top seed in the fourth round on Monday.

Defending champion Serena Williams was dumped by French ninth seed Marion Bartoli, who beat her 6-3, 7-6(6).

Also advancing was Maria Sharapova, the 2004 champion, who downed China's Shuai Peng 6-4, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006. Venus Williams, who is on a comeback trail too after a long lay-off like her younger sister, fell 6-2, 6-3 to Tsvetana Pironkova. 

On the men's side, fourth seed Andy Murray crushed Richard Gasquet 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals.

Lopez rallies past Kubot

The Briton will meet Spain's Feliciano Lopez who rallied from two sets down to beat Poland's Lukasz Kubot 3-6, 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 7-5, 7-5.

Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic extended his fairytale run at Wimbledon this year into the quarterfinals after crushing Belgium's Xavier Malisse 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 in the fourth round, becoming the first qualifier to reach the last eight at Wimbledon since Vladimir Voltchkov in 2000.

The 18-year-old had already become the youngest man to reach the fourth round here since Michael Chang in 1990 by defeating World No.5 Robin Soderling on Saturday.

Tomic will now face second seed Novak Djokovic who cruised past Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Losing early again

Wozniacki has now failed to make it past the fourth round at the All England Club in five attempts. Cibulkova, a former Roland Garros semifinalist, had enjoyed a surprise win over highly-rated German Julia Goerges to secure her first appearance in the last 16 here. But this was an even better result as she secured her third Grand Slam quarterfinal berth.

Wozniacki made her intentions clear as she started with an ace and it wasn't long before the Dane pressured Cibulkova into conceding the first break before taking the first set in only 24 minutes.

Cibulkova's serve had seemed out of sorts but she began to establish some rhythm in a much tighter second set. The Slovak had two set points at 6-5, but Wozniacki held on to force a tie-break.

Cibulkova's fiesty play was a complete contrast to the first set and she took the tie-break as Wozniacki struggled to deal with some powerful forehands.

That set up a rollercoaster final set which saw Wozniacki break in the second game, only to then surrender her own serve.

When the Dane was broken again in the fifth game, Cibulkova had a golden opportunity to reach just her second Grand Slam quarterfinal, but Wozniacki broke back immediately.

Both players were competing ferociously now but it was Cibulkova who landed the decisive blow as Wozniacki sent a backhand long at 5-5, giving the Slovakian a chance to serve out a famous win.

No repeat

Murray, who had to come from two sets to love down to defeat Gasquet in the fourth round three years ago, had no such problems this time, wrapping up victory in straight sets.

This is Murray's fourth consecutive quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon.

“I thought it was good — I think I served well, and I got a lot of free points off that,” said Murray.

Serve dominated in the first set with Gasquet carving out the only break point in the second game which Murray saved.

It was then an even contest between Murray's fierce forehand and Gasquet's classical single-handed backhand as the opener was decided in the fourth seeds' favour when he played the cleaner tiebreak.

Gasquet, the 17th seed, appeared to be wilting in the Centre Court heat and his body language betrayed him.

Murray created his first break point of the match in the eighth game of the second set which he converted when the Frenchman unleashed a wild backhand which sailed long.

The set was the fourth seed's when Gasquet again mis-hit a service return.

Murray was in cruise control now, breaking in the fifth and seventh games and took the tie on his second match point courtesy of his 14th ace after 2hr and four minutes.

Paes-Black through

Leander Paes and Cara Black, seeded 14th, advanced to the third round with a straight sets win over Rogier Wassen of the Netherlands and Poland's Alicja Rosolska 6-1, 6-4. — Agencies

Fourth round: Men: Feliciano Lopez (Esp) bt Lukasz Kubot (Pol) 3-6, 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 7-5, 7-5; 10-Mardy Fish (USA) bt 6-Tomas Berdych (Cze) 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4.

4-Andy Murray (Gbr) bt 17-Richard Gasquet (Fra) 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2; Bernard Tomic (Aus) bt Xavier Malisse (Bel) 6-1, 7-5, 6-4; 2-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt 19-Michael Llodra (Fra) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Women: 5-Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt 20-Peng Shuai (Chn) 6-4, 6-2; Sabine Lisicki (Ger) bt Petra Cetkovska (Cze) 7-6(3), 6-1; 9-Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt 7-Serena Williams (USA) 6-3, 7-6(6); Tamira Paszek (Aut) bt Ksenia Pervak (Rus) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3; 4-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Nadia Petrova (Rus) 6-2, 6-2; 8-Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt 19-Yanina Wickmayer (Bel) 6-0, 6-2; 24-Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) bt 1-Caroline Wozniacki (Den) 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-5; 32-Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) bt 23-Venus Williams (USA) 6-2, 6-3.

Mixed doubles: Second round: 14-Leander Paes (Ind) & Cara Black (Zim) bt Rogier Wassen (Ned) & Alicja Rosolska (Pol) 6-1, 6-4 .

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