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Sweet Sixteen For Cibulkova In Sydney

Dominika Cibulkova got the 16th Top 10 win of her career at the Apia International Sydney, and in dominant fashion too. Li Na edged an American up-and-comer in a thrilling night match.

Published January 09, 2013 12:00

Sweet Sixteen For Cibulkova In Sydney
Dominika Cibulkova

SYDNEY, Australia - Agnieszka Radwanska continued her perfect start to the season at the Apia International Sydney on Wednesday afternoon, getting some good old fashioned revenge against Roberta Vinci for a loss to the Italian in their last meeting at the US Open last summer.

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The No.1-seeded Radwanska didn't have it easy - she had to rally from 3-1 down in the second set - but after an hour and 34 minutes it was over, and the World No.4 battled into the final four, 64 75.

"She pretty much doesn't miss and everything goes back to the other side - she's not giving up any free points," Radwanska said of Vinci. "So today I was really trying to play more aggressive and come to the net more often, even serve and volley sometimes - I think that was the key of the match today."

Radwanska, known as one of the most strategic players on the WTA, was asked how she develops her strategy before a match. "When I'm playing someone I've played a couple of times before, I know what I have to do. It's a different situation when I play someone I don't know. And also the surface makes a big difference. But in any match, pretty much after the first few games I know what I have to do to win."

Now 7-0 on the season, Radwanska is looking like one of the favorites for the Australian Open, which starts next week. "I think I've had a lot of good matches already before Melbourne," she commented. "I'm very happy I'm playing my best tennis from the beginning of the year. I can't complain."

In the only other quarterfinal of the day session, an unseeded Dominika Cibulkova continued her path of destruction through the draw, completely dominating No.3 seed Sara Errani, 62 61. It was the 16th Top 10 win of her career - and the 15th came in the first round, a 61 61 rout against Petra Kvitova.

There was some good news for Errani and Vinci, though - seeded No.1 in the doubles draw, they retook the court later and edged Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke in a dramatic quarterfinal match-up, 75 26 1816, fighting off three match points from the other team before finally winning it on their sixth.

The other two quarterfinal matches took place under the lights at night and the first one was a thriller, with No.4 seed Li Na rallying from a set down to beat teenaged American qualifier Madison Keys, 46 76(2) 62. No.2 seed Angelique Kerber rounded out the final four afterwards with a 63 75 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova, coming back from 4-1 down in the second set to close it out in straight sets.

"I just tried focusing on my game and playing aggressive, because she was playing really well," Kerber said of Kuznetsova. "I was fighting for every point and I'm happy I could finish it in straight sets."

The 17-year-old Keys had scored her first Top 20 win over Lucie Safarova en route to the quarterfinals of the Premier-level tournament, which in fact represented her very first WTA quarterfinal.

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