Ekaterina Makarova, the 30th seeded Russian player toppled the Ladies Singles tables further when she sent the “2016 Comeback player of the year” and 6th seeded Slovakian, Dominika Cibulkova home after her 6-2 6-7(3) 6-3 win on the Rod Laver Arena this morning.
Cibulkova, who defeated the defending champion, Angelique Kerber at the WTA Finals in Singapore last year, was one of the favourites to excel at this year’s Australian Open.
Makarova had however done her homework and stopped the diminutive “pocket rocket” Slovakian from playing her usual dominant game. Makarova soon found herself one set and 4-0 up in the second set, when Cibulkova, who refused to lie down, clawed her way back and forced a tie-break, which she won.
The players were matching each other in the third set, but Makarova kept her cool and continued to apply pressure, breaking the Slovakian’s service games and with it, booking a fourth round clash against the 9th seeded British player, Johanna Konta, who easily swept aside Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3 6-1.