NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - No.2 seed Dominika Cibulkova came back from a set down to oust Alizé Cornet and grab the last spot in the Connecticut Open quarterfinals.
She had to come back from a break down twice in the final set, but she pulled out the 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 turnaround after a thrilling two hour battle.
“I knew it was going to be a really tough one,” Cibulkova said in her on court interview. “I played her last week in Cincinnati, and I won in two sets so I knew she was going to be very ready for today.
“It was not easy to come back, but it reminded me of how I was playing last year - how I can come back in the third set.”
After too many unforced errors cost her the opening set against Cornet, a determined Cibulkova righted the ship in the second and third. The Frenchwoman's untimely double faults gave Cibulkova an early break - Cornet hit two in one game early on - and Cibulkova took advantage to reel off five games in a row and take the second set.
The No.2 seed found herself locked into a tug of war as she had to come back from a break down twice - the second time with Cornet up 4-2 and closing in on the finish line. But Cibulkova found her best tennis to take the last four games in a row and book her spot into the quarterfinals.
There was not much to choose from between them in the close three set battle; Cornet and Cibulkova ended the match with 21 winners to 22, respectively, against 32 unforced errors to 36. But in the big moments it was Cibulkova who proved to be decisive, converting on six of eight break points while Cornet converted just five of 12.
Cibulkova will take on No.6 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova next for a spot in the semifinals after the Russian defeated Carla Suarez Navarro earlier in the day.
“It’s going to be another tough one, but that’s why I came here,” she said. “I like to have these challenges, it’s nice to have these tough matches before the US Open. I hope I can have another good match.”