Cibulkova Solves Stosur, Storms Into Doha Semifinals
Published February 16, 2017 12:15
DOHA, Qatar - Reigning BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global champion Dominika Cibulkova won her 400th career match on Thursday, ousting former World No.4 Samantha Stosur, 7-5, 6-4, to reach the semifinals at the Qatar Total Open.
"She was really fighting and really into the match," she said during her on-court interview. "It came down to a few points here and there; you can see from the scoreline that it was very tight.
"The conditions are tough here, but I'm happy to have gotten lucky this week so far."
Cibulkova had lost all five of her previous matches against the Aussie - all in straight sets, no less - but the Slovak has made vast improvements since their last meeting in 2014, hitting 18 winners to just 10 unforced errors and converting five of eight break point opportunities throughout the rain-affected match.
"I tried to have a new tactic against Sam because I'd never beaten her before, and it was really working today. I have to say, I was playing well."
Racing out to a 5-1 lead to start, she survived a late surge from Stosur - who was playing her second match of the day - to clinch the opener on her fourth set point.
A tense second set followed, with the World No.5 saving a pair of break points early to clinch the crucial break in the ninth game, serving out a debut semifinal appearance in Doha after one hour and 39 minutes.
More to come...