Dominika Cibulkova Downs Julia Goerges

Wimbledon 2011
By Hiland Doolittle, June 26th, 2011

On Saturday there were two upsets. First, diminutive giant killer Dominika Cibulkova ousted German hotshot Julia Goerges. With the win, Cibulkova has the unenviable opportunity to play Caroline Wozniacki whom the media usually snubs in their debates about a potential winner.

Dominika Cibulkova

The 24th seed Dominika Cibulkova jumped ahead of the powerful 16th seed Goerges but looked lost after dropping the second set 1-6. Goerges, who defeated Wozniacki in the finals at Stuttgart, has been on a tear and has a big, big game. Cibulkova rallied in the third to win 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. The 5’6” dynamo hit 11 winners and committed 11 unforced errors.

Those are respectable numbers but not compared to the beautiful tennis being played by Wozniacki. Today, the Dane committed five unforced errors in the 66 minutes needed to oust Jarmila Gajdosova, 6-3, 6-2. In her 66-minute match yesterday, Caroline committed just one unforced error. Regardless of the media, the 20-year old is playing the most consistent tennis at Wimbledon, just as she has done on tour for the last 2.5 years.

Caroline does not get rattled by the circumstance. She is a proven winner. And, she does not beat herself. Wozniacki looks to have some fire in the belly and Cibulkova may be the last hurdle before an anticipated match with Sharapova.

The biggest upset of the day belonged to Austrian Tamira Peszek. The lightly regarded Austrian looked very much the contender against heavily favored Francesca Schiavone, the 6 seed. In keeping with her presence, Schiavone chased every ball. She forced extra hits, but in the end, she ran out of steam in the 3-6, 6-4,11-9 three hour and fifty-four minute marathon. The last set took 124 minutes alone. It is quite a testimony to Peszek that she could stay on the court with Schiavone for that length of time.

Peszek will face Russian Ksenia Pervak who downed another 11th seed Andrea Petkovic in straight sets. Regardless of who wins, a wildcard will be playing in the quarterfinals.

Maria Sharapova remained on track for a quarterfinal run at Wozniacki with an erratic showing against Kara Zakopaova. With the 6-2, 6-3 win, Sharapova will meet 20th seed Shuai Peng.

The last remaining German, Sabine Lisicki, who looked right at home downing 3rd seed Li Na, will meet Petra Cetkovska who upset Serbian beauty queen Ana Ivanovic, 6-2, 7-6 (0). Look for Lisicki to move on and present a quarterfinal challenge against the anticipated Round of Sixteen match between Marion Bartoli and Serena Williams.

One of the seeds that is left in the field is Victoria Azarenka, the fourth seed. The number one from Belarus will take on veteran Russian power-player Nadia Petrova. We like Azarenka in this one.

Czech left-hander and the number 8 seed, Petra Kvitova is the best seed in the bottom quarter bracket. Kvitova will face another six- footer, Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer.

With Vera Zvonareva out, Kvitova is on track to play five-time Wimbledon Champion Venus Williams –Tsvetana Kironkova match. Pironkova eliminated the second seed, Zvonareva, 6-2, 6-3. Kvitova should win against Wickmayer and can the talent to put down Venus Williams. Both players have high-risk offenses and the competitive spirit to go all the way.

Of the top fifteen seeds in the women’s draw, only six remain. In the most wide-open field , each match has been contested. It will be interesting to see how the Williams sisters fare in the Round of Sixteen. The media thinks Serena is a shoe-in and that she might meet her sister in the finals. From here, it looks like the winner of the Sharapova- Wozniacki match will win the title. However, to down either of the sisters, players will need to stretch them to three sets and be willing to pay the physical price.

If one likes a longshot, Lisicki has a great chance.


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