Dominika Cibulkova came from match point down to defeat No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska and reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the second time in her career.
WTA Staff

LONDON, England - Dominika Cibulkova upset No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in a rollercoaster encounter on No.3 Court to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

In a match that had more momentum shifts than there were rain delays in the opening week, it was Cibulkova that eventually hauled herself across the finishing line, firing a forehand into the corner to close out a 6-3, 5-7, 9-7 victory in exactly three hours.

"My winners were the difference. Today was, I would say, the most physically tough, it was the toughest match for me I would say my whole career," Cibulkova said. "I felt really, really tired when the match was going on.

"But I was just fighting for every single ball. And especially when you have an opponent that doesn't give you any free gifts, you just know that you have to earn every single point. It takes so much energy. It's even tougher mentally. Today was just amazing, amazing match."

This was the latest installment in an increasingly dramatic rivalry; in Indian Wells this spring Radwanska came from match point down to triumph, before Cibulkova gained revenge following tight battles in Madrid, then Eastbourne.

However, for the first hour or so it looked like Cibulkova was on course for an unexpectedly straightforward triumph. Bullying the No.3 seed from the baseline, she eased through the opening set and then broke for a 5-4 lead in the second.

Just as she had a few rounds earlier against Ana Konjuh, Radwanska's best tennis came with her back firmly against the wall, fending off a match point before expertly making her way into the net to break back. A few games later and they were locked at one-set all.

Radwanska continued this charge at the start of the decider, threatening on Cibulkova's service games while whistling through her own. Cibulkova, though, was the first to break, doing so to love in the seventh game with a drop shot that would have made her opponent proud. 

Eager not to be outdone, the Pole showcased her own artistry at the net to draw level immediately. The drama, though, was only just beginning.

After weathering a series of torrid service games, Radwanska got an unexpected glimpse of the finishing line at 6-5 when Cibulkova wilted at the end of yet another energy-sapping exchange. Cibulkova responded superbly, summoning another blistering forehand to wipe out the match point.

A few games later the Slovak was on the brink once more, and this time Radwanska had no answer, watching a 56th winner sail past to end her Wimbledon dream for another year.

Cibulkova, meanwhile, advances to the quarterfinals for the second time in her career, There she will face Elena Vesnina, the winner of an equally absorbing encounter with Ekaterina Makarova, 5-7, 6-1, 9-7.