World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki crashed out of the Wimbledon championships as Slovakian 24th seed Dominika Cibulkova secured a shock 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 victory over the top seed in the fourth round on Monday.
Defending champion Serena Williams was dumped by French ninth seed Marion Bartoli, who beat her 6-3, 7-6(6). Also advancing was Maria Sharapova, the 2004 champion, who downed China's Shuai Peng 6-4, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006. Venus Williams, who is on a comeback trail too after a long lay-off like her younger sister, fell 6-2, 6-3 to Tsvetana Pironkova.
On the men's side, fourth seed Andy Murray served up a royal treat for Prince William and his wife Catherine as he crushed Richard Gasquet 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2 and reach the quarterfinals.
Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic extended his fairytale run at Wimbledon this year into the quarterfinals after crushing Belgium's Xavier Malisse 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 in the fourth round, becoming the first qualifier to reach the last eight at Wimbledon since Vladimir Voltchkov in 2000. The 18-year-old had already become the youngest man to reach the fourth round here since Michael Chang in 1990 by defeating World No.5 Robin Soderling on Saturday.
Tomic will now face second seed Novak Djokovic who cruised past Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Wozniacki has now failed to make it past the fourth round at the All England Club in five attemptsCibulkova, a former Roland Garros semifinalist, had enjoyed a surprise win over highly-rated German Julia Goerges to secure her first appearance in the last 16 here. But this was an even better result as she secured her third Grand Slam quarterfinal berth.
Wozniacki made her intentions clear as she started with an ace and it wasn't long before the Dane pressured Cibulkova into conceding the first break before taking the first set in only 24 minutes.
Cibulkova's serve had seemed out of sorts but she began to establish some rhythm in a much tighter second set. The Slovak had two set points at 6-5, but Wozniacki held on to force a tie-break. Cibulkova's fiesty play was a complete contrast to the first set and she took the tie-break as Wozniacki struggled to deal with some powerful forehands.
That set up a rollercoaster final set which saw Wozniacki break in the second game, only to then surrender her own serve. When the Dane was broken again in the fifth game, Cibulkova had a golden opportunity to reach just her second Grand Slam quarterfinal, but Wozniacki broke back immediately.
Both players were competing ferociously now but it was Cibulkova who landed the decisive blow as Wozniacki sent a backhand long at 5-5, giving the Slovakian a chance to serve out a famous win.
Murray, who had to come from two sets to love down to defeat Gasquet in the fourth round three years ago, had no such problems this time, wrapping up victory in straight sets. This is Murray's fourth consecutive quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon.
“I think I served well, and I got a lot of free points off that,” said Murray. “The conditions were very warm so if you can get in front of your opponent you're in good shape. I made quite a lot of good passing shots in the end and I did well to come through.
“But I need to improve — the best players ever are still in the tournament, so I need to get even better.”
Tomic, ranked 158th in the world, will look forward to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal after demolishing World No.42 Malisse.
Tomic, who also beat Russian 29th seed Nikolay Davydenko in the first round here, has long been earmarked as one of the sport's rising stars after winning the Australian and US Open junior titles. But he nearly didn't make it to Wimbledon after coming within five points of losing his first match in the qualifying event.
This was a far more emphatic victory. Malisse, 30, was a semifinalist here in 2002, but it was Tomic made a red-hot start on the sun-baked Court 18.
In sweltering temperatures, Tomic broke Malisse twice as he raced into a 5-0 lead. Malisse finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth game, but Tomic responded by finishing off the first set after just 21 minutes.
Tomic found it harder to dominate the second set as Malisse finally found some rhythm. But the Australian kept the pressure on, landed the decisive break at 5-5 and held serve to open up a two-set advantage.
Tomic produced a sublime forehand winner on the run to break for a 5-4 lead in the third set before serving out the match and celebrated by exchanging high-fives with Australian fans.
Keywords: Wimbledon 2011