WTA Madrid: Dominika Cibulkova overcomes Agnieszka Radwanska in a burdensome encounter

WTA Madrid: Dominika Cibulkova overcomes Agnieszka Radwanska in a burdensome encounter

Dominika Cibulkova needed many opportunities to get past the top seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3 in two hours and 37 minutes.

brooks-giardina
Brooks Giardina

Dominika Cibulkova utilized her intense, aggresive play to advance to the second round after a grueling defeat over Agnieszka Radwanska at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Slovakian Shows No Signs Of Nerves Early

Agnieszka Radwanksa looked to continue her previous success over Dominika Cibulkova as she led their head-to-head series seven wins to three heading into their first round matchup. The Slovakian started the match on her terms with a hold to 30. The powerful, penetrating shots off the Cibulkova racquet saw her dictate play early on, but her errors off her forehand wing brought the set back to level terms. Radwanska and Cibulkova then exchanged lengthy breaks until they arrived the set to four games apiece after nearly 45 minutes on Manolo Santana. Cibulkova refused to get broken for the third straight time as she comfortably held to love to put herself within a break of the opening set.

This year's Katowice Open champion relentlessly attacked the court with depth and power to clinch the first set in her favor. The world number 38 needed 54 minutes to take a one-set advantage. Cibulkova's firepower, finesse, and consistency in the late stages vaulted her up a set against the crafty counter puncher, Agnieszka Radwanska.

Dominika Cibulkova hits a backhand. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Dominika Cibulkova hits a backhand. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Pole Battles Back From A Second Set Scare

Agnieszka Radwanska started the second set with a break of her own, despite being down 30-love. But Radwanska quickly gave the break back after an uncharacteristic game of unforced errors off the Pole's racquet. The aggressiveness from Cibulkova continued as she found herself up a set and a break, and just within three games of knocking out the world number two. A frustrated top seed kept the set within reach with huge returns en route to breaking her opposition for the fourth time. The pair exchanged love holds, and the Slovak raised her intensity with the thought of an upset in the back of her mind. 

Cibulkova asserted herself up 6-4, 5-3, and suddenly she found herself in a winning position. But a sloppy game from the underdog saw Radwanska spark a possible comeback as she did in Indian Wells. The world number two defied a 15-30 deficit to level the set after a lucky net cord winner sealed the game. The crafty matchup then exchanged breaks to 30 to force a tiebreaker. Radwanska clawed her way back to a 7-6(3) win to push the match to a deciding, third set.

Agnieszka Radwanska at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images
Agnieszka Radwanska at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Cibulkova Clinches Defeat Over Top Seed

The top seed started right where she left off as she grabbed the first two games as the match headed into the late night in the Spanish capital. The feisty Slovak battled to get the match level after winning two games of her own. Cibulkova kept her momentum moving to take a 3-2 lead in the final set. Yet another exchange of breaks saw Cibulkova increase her lead to 4-3. The top-ranked Slovak sealed her 5-3 advantage with a backhand down the line winner, which approached her near the finish line, yet again. 

Dominika Cibulkova took advantage of her first look at a match point. A massive forehand winner clipped the sideline for the Slovak's fourth career win over Agnieszka Radwanska. The 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3 triumph lasted over two and a half hours for an enticing ending to day two of the Mutua Madrid Open.

Dominika Cibulkova at the Connecticut Open. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Dominika Cibulkova at the Connecticut Open. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Katowice Champion To Play Garcia

Dominika Cibulkova will continue her tournament campaign on the red clay of Madrid as she will take on Caroline Garcia for the pair's first career meeting. The Slovak has won eight of her last nine matches, but her French opposition just recently snapped a three match losing streak. The match will take place on Tuesday, and will deem as a must watch encounter.

VAVEL Logo