Maria Sharapova out of the Australian Open

Last updated 16:05 20/01/2014
Fairfax Australia

Tennis writers Peter Hanlon and Linda Pearce preview Day 9 of the Australian Open including Stanislas Wawrinka's quarter-final clash with four-time champion Novak Djokovic.

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VICTORIOUS: Dominika Cibulkova celebrates after beating Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open.

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Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova has caused the second huge women's upset at the Australian Open in as many days, downing third seed Maria Sharapova in the fourth round.

The 20th-seeded Cibulkova won 3-6 6-4 6-1 in a match lasting two hours and 12 minutes.

Sharapova's defeat came less than 24 hours after world No.1 Serena Williams went down to Ana Ivanovic, and further opened up the women's draw.

Two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka is the only player left in contention to have previously won the Australian Open title.

After winning the first set, Sharapova quickly went 5-0 down in the second.

She rallied to win four straight games, only for Cibulkova to serve the set out at the third attempt.

The Slovakian then dominated the decider, setting up a quarter-final against either eighth-seeded Serb Jelena Jankovic or Romanian No.11 Simona Halep.

"That was the important thing, that I went on the court and was 100 per cent sure that I could win the match," said Cibulkova.

It was the second time in three attempts that Cibulkova had ousted Sharapova from a grand slam event.

The other occasion was an even bigger upset, when the Slovakian won 6-0 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the 2009 French Open when she was ranked a lowly No.102 in the world.

Cibulkova, 24, is now through to the Australian Open quarters for the first time in seven attempts.

Sharapova had reached the final at Melbourne Park on three previous occasions, winning the title back in 2008.

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