Cibulkova: I had good an­swers

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

SYD­NEY: Women’s world No 6 Do­minika Cibulkova and for­mer top-ranked player Caro­line Woz­ni­acki, pic­tured, took con­trast­ing routes to the sec­ond round of the Syd­ney In­ter­na­tional yes­ter­day.

Cibulkova dropped just two games in her 6-2 6-0 de­mo­li­tion of Ger­many’s Laura Siege­mund as the reign­ing WTA Fi­nals cham­pion set up a sec­ond-round meet­ing with Eu­ge­nie Bouchard of Canada.

Woz­ni­acki sur­vived a sec­ond­set melt­down to beat Olympic cham­pion Mon­ica Puig 6-3 2-6 6-4.

“It’s a tough match, be­cause you kind of feel like ‘oh, I’m win­ning pretty com­fort­ably right now’ but then she can go on a streak,” said the Dane. “That’s where it started go­ing in the sec­ond set, and in the third set I tried to stay closer to the base­line and maybe play a lit­tle deeper,” Woz­ni­acki added. Cibulkova needed three gru­elling sets against Siege­mund in their only pre­vi­ous meet­ing last year in Wuhan, but was a lot more as­sertive yes­ter­day. “I just felt pretty good, you know, over­all when I prac­tise here, and of course match and prac­tice is dif­fer­ent story, but I was ready,” said Cibulkova, who suf­fered a quar­ter­fi­nal de­feat at the hands of Al­ize Cor­net in Bris­bane last week.

“I knew it was go­ing to be tough, but I had very good an­swers for her good shots. I was re­ally solid, and when I had the chance, I was go­ing for my shots.

“The chances I didn’t take in Bris­bane against Cor­net, to­day I took al­most all of them. So some­times it’s like this. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate this per­for­mance I had to­day.”

Sixth-seeded Brit Jo­hanna Konta and ninth seed Roberta Vinci also pro­gressed with straight-sets vic­to­ries.

Konta de­feated lo­cal favourite Arina Ro­di­onova 6-3 6-4 while Vinci beat Greek qual­i­fier Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-0.

There was more heartbreak for lo­cal fans as Aus­tralian vet­eran Sam Sto­sur bowed out af­ter her 6-3 6-1 de­feat by Anas­ta­sia Pav­lyuchenkova.

The de­feat pro­longed for­mer US Open cham­pion Sto­sur’s poor buildup to the Aus­tralian Open. – Reuters

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