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Thursday 14 December 2017

Azarenka: No positives from Cibulkova loss

World number one Victoria Azarenka admitted "pretty much everything" had gone wrong as she crashed out of the French Open in the fourth round to Dominika Cibulkova.

The 22-year-old went on a 26-match winning streak at the start of 2012, including picking up her first grand slam title at the Australian Open, but she has struggled to find her form all week.

Azarenka almost went out in the first round, fighting back from a set and 4-0 down against Alberta Brianti, but yesterday she could not recover and was beaten 6-2 7-6 (7/4) by the 15th seed.

The Belarusian (pictured) said: "I don't know how to describe my performance really today. It wasn't satisfying at all. It wasn't satisfying being out there playing that way. But I guess it happens. I don't know even what to find positive in my performance today. Maybe in a few hours I'll find something that I can be happy with."

Despite being only 5ft 3in tall, nine inches shorter than Azarenka, Cibulkova is a feisty competitor and she had far too much for her opponent in the first set.

From 4-2 down in the second set Azarenka ended up serving for it only for Cibulkova to break back and dominate the tie-break, clinching victory on her second match point.

Azarenka said: "She's definitely a good player.

"I think she plays much better against the top players than maybe a little bit lower-ranked players. She really has that desire. I don't know what motivates her to play that way.

"She's a dangerous opponent. She had big wins before, and it was no surprise that she was going to be playing well today."

In the last eight, Cibulkova will play sixth seed Sam Stosur, who is now a favourite to reach her second final at Roland Garros.

The Australian beat 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens 7-5 6-4, while Ialty's Sara Errani progressed to face Angelique Kerber in the quarter-finals.

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