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Bouchard Ousts Cibulkova To Surge Into Sydney Quarterfinals

Eugenie Bouchard is through to her first WTA quarterfinals since March 2016 after a straight-sets victory over No.3 seed Dominika Cibulkova at the Apia International Sydney.

Published January 10, 2017 12:14

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SYDNEY, Australia - Eugenie Bouchard is through to her first WTA quarterfinals since March 2016 after a straight-sets victory over No.3 seed Dominika Cibulkova at the Apia International Sydney.

The Canadian's brand of attacking tennis was in full swing against the reigning WTA Finals champ, and was just as vexing to Cibulkova as it was in the pair's previous encounters. Bouchard has won all of their three hardcourt matches, and she extended that streak today in her 6-4, 6-3 win.

"Every time I have played a match with Domi, we have had the toughest battles. I had to mentally prepare myself for that," Bouchard told press after her victory.

"Any time you play one of the best players in the world it's like a standard of where you're at."

Bouchard found herself trailing down a break twice in the tense opening set, but refused to fade away against the World No.5. Cibulkova struck first, grabbing an early break for a 2-1 lead, but Bouchard erased it in the next game with the help of a Cibulkova double fault.

They traded breaks once more before Bouchard took the set with a pair of sizzling forehands that finally forced an error out of Cibulkova.

With Bouchard in the driver's seat, Cibulkova struggled to find her footing again in the match. The Slovak was broken twice before Bouchard crushed a backhand down the line to seal the victory in straight sets.

The win sends Bouchard through to the quarterfinals in Sydney, ending a 10-month drought. Bouchard's last appearance in a quarterfinal came at Kuala Lumpur, where she made a run to the final at the Alya WTA Malaysian Open before falling to Elina Svitolina.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself," Bouchard said. "I'm happy that I get another match to keep trying to get better. I have taken a couple solid steps this week, but I'm far from where I want to be."

"Even though I won, to me, I could do a lot of things better. But, yeah, I'm proud of myself for just battling through and just getting through it."

She's set to play against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a spot in the semifinals after the Russian upset defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets.

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