Ker­ber, Cibulkova in shock ex­its

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

BRIS­BANE: World No 1 An­gelique Ker­ber was knocked out of the Bris­bane In­ter­na­tional by Elina Svi­tolina yes­ter­day while sec­ond seed Do­minika Cibulkova also suc­cumbed to a quar­ter-fi­nal up­set.

Ukrainian sixth seed Svi­tolina pre­vailed 6-4 3-6 6-3 in her slugfest with Ker­ber to set up a semi-fi­nal clash with Karolina Pliskova who beat Roberta Vinci 3-6 6-2 6-2.

With Ker­ber strug­gling with her serve and rhythm, Svi­tolina claimed the first set but the Ger­man staged a bril­liant come­back in the sec­ond to force the de­cider.

Ker­ber seemed to have found her range in the third set but Svi­tolina broke and then served for her sec­ond suc­ces­sive win over the top seed.

Ear­lier, an in­spired Al­ize Cor­net pulled off a 6-3 7-5 up­set win over Cibulkova to book a last-four bat­tle with Gar­bine Mugu­ruza who sur­vived yet an­other gru­elling con­test at the Pat Rafter Arena.

Cor­net won the first set with­out much dif­fi­culty and led 5-2 in the sec­ond when Cibulkova staged a mini come­back, break­ing the un­seeded French­woman twice to level at 5-5.

Cor­net broke Cibulkova again for 6-5 and served it out on her third at­tempt.

Mugu­ruza had sur­vived tough three-set­ters against Sam Sto­sur and Daria Kasatk­ina in her pre­vi­ous two matches and the Spa­niard dug deep to beat Rus­sian Svet­lana Kuznetsova 7-5 6-4.

Roger Fed­erer was more than pleased with his fight­ing per­for­mance af­ter los­ing a rub­ber to Ger­man teenager Alexan­der Zverev 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4) at the Hop­man Cup.

Even though he went down in his men’s sin­gles con­test on Wed­nes­day night, the 35-year-old and teenaged part­ner Belinda Ben­cic did man­age a 2-1 win over the Ger­mans and will play for a spot in the fi­nal at the mixed team event in a win­ner-take-all tie against France today.

Fed­erer did only a light train­ing yes­ter­day, aim­ing to spend just 45 min­utes on court the day be­fore he and Belinda Ben­cic take on Richard Gas­quet and Kristina Mlade­n­ovic. – Reuters/DPA

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