French youngster Océane Dodin pulled off a stunning upset over Dominika Cibulkova, last year's Mutua Madrid Open finalist, to earn her first career Top 10 win and reach the third round.
WTA Staff

MADRID, Spain - Océane Dodin became the last woman to reach the Mutua Madrid Open Round of 16, pulling off a stunning upset of former finalist and No.4 seed Dominika Cibulkova, 6-2, 6-4.

“I’m so happy and so excited,” a breathless Dodin told WTA Insider after the match. “It was amazing to play on such a big court against Dominika. She’s a great player and very nice, maybe the nicest on tour.

“I’m very happy and proud of myself.”

Dodin won her maiden WTA title as a 19-year-old last fall at the Coupe Banque Nationale, and is in the midst of making her main draw debut in Madrid this week, starting her campaign with a first round win over former French Open semifinalist Andrea Petkovic.

Cibulkova roared into the championship match last spring in Spain, kicking off a breakthrough season that saw her capture the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

It's been a tough stretch since for the Slovak, who was forced out of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix two weeks ago due to injury, and needed three sets in her first round against former No.1 Jelena Jankovic.

Still, Dodin put together a comprehensive victory, striking a whopping eight aces and 32 winners to just 15 unforced errors, and converted five of eight break point opportunities to clich the biggest win of her young career after 80 minutes on court.

“At the beginning of the match, I was thinking how I had stress but I had to be aggressive and have a big serve. I think those were the two keys to the match. It might have been the best match of my career.

“I just tried to stay calm and focused on my game, be aggressive, and focus on my service games, because she started serving better in the second set. My serve definitely helped me in the end.”

Up next for the Frenchwoman is in-form countrywoman and Stuttgart runner-up Kristina Mladenovic. The No.14 seed narrowly defeated Lauren Davis in her second round match on Monday.

“Today’s win means so much,” Dodin admitted. “Tennis can be very difficult sometimes, where sometimes you win and other times you lose, and that’s tough mentally for me. I get very sad when I lose because I’m very emotional! For me, this is like a dream, amazing.

“I’m excited to play Kiki. It’s going to be very tough and it’s never easy to play against another French player. For me, it’s funny; I won’t have too many stresses, and I’ll just try to enjoy this moment and then focus on the next match.”