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Seed-killer Makarova bundles out Cibulkova

Reuters logo Reuters 21-01-2017

Ekaterina Makarova continued to show little regard for seeds at the Australian Open and sent another one heading for the exits at Melbourne Park on Saturday with a 6-2 6-7(3) 6-3 win over sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova in the third round.

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia © REUTERS/Thomas Peter Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia © REUTERS/Jason Reed Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

The 28-year-old, whose list of high-seeded victims at previous Australian Opens includes Ana Ivanovic (19th), Serena Williams (12th), Angelique Kerber (5th) and Simona Halep (3rd), will now face either Johanna Konta or Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round.

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
© REUTERS/Jason Reed

Makarova, who despite her giant-killing exploits has only reached one semi-final at Melbourne Park (2015), raced through the first set courtesy of three breaks and then into a 4-0 lead in the second.

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia © REUTERS/Jason Reed Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

Cibulkova, however, fought back to win the next five games to take a 5-4 lead then went on to force a deciding set.

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia © REUTERS/Thomas Peter Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

Makarova took a medical time out for treatment on her right elbow while leading 3-2 in the third but it did not see the momentum swing back Cibulkova. The Russian then broke to take a 5-3 lead and served out in the next game.

(Writing by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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