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Radwanska snaps Azarenka's pursuit of Australia Open hat-trick

English.news.cn   2014-01-22 15:43:24

(SP) AUSTRALIA-MELBOURNE-TENNIS-RADWANSKA-AZARENKA
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland hits a return during the women's singles quarterfinal match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus at 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 22, 2014. Agnieszka Radwanska won 2-1. (Xinhua/Jin Linpeng)

MELBOURNE, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Victoria Azarenka's 18-match winning streak at the Australian Open ended in an upset 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 quarterfinal loss to Agnieszka Radwanska on Wednesday.

The first major of the season extends its prevailing tumbling of star players and dramatic ousting of reigning champions. On Tuesday, three-time reigning champion Novak Djokovic was knocked out the tournament by Stanislas Wawrinka in five-set thriller.

In the fourth round, the dominant Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova also suffered early exits.

Serbia's 14th seed Ana Ivanovic, who stunned Williams in three sets then fell victim to Canada's teenager Eugenie Bouchard.

Fifth-seeded Radwanska ended a streak of three consecutive quarterfinal defeats at the Australian Open with a stunning display of versatile shot-making that confused the big-hitting defending champion.

"That's the best quarterfinal I've ever played here," said Radwanska.

"I said to myself one day I have to take another step and get to the semifinal and I'm so happy I did that.

"I had to play my best tennis or even better, to be very aggressive and go for every shot I could."

Radwanska played a great game to break Azarenka's serve to open the deciding set before marching away to claim victory in a match lasting exactly two hours.

It was the first time Azarenka had been "bagelled" in a set at Melbourne Park.

"I really enjoyed my time on the court. That' what I want to do," said the Polish.

"If I put pressure on myself I play nervous and that's not what I want to do."

She next plays No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova, who won the last eight games in a one-hour, 6-3, 6-0 quarterfinal rout of No. 11-seeded Simona Halep.

The only previous occasion that the Slovakian had reached the last four at a major was at the 2009 French Open. "I was playing agressive and I was playing freely," said Cibulkova.

Azarenka's loss leaves 2011 French Open champion Li Na as the only major winner remaining in the women's draw.

Li will play 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in the other semifinal.

Editor: Fu Peng
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