Azarenka survives Cibulkova in Miami thriller

Victoria Azarenka hung on to her winning streak by the skin of her teeth as she came back from a 1-6 0-4 deficit against Dominika Cibulkova to record her 26th win of the season.  It was a terrifically entertaining match and one of the best in 2012 so far.  Cibulkova was playing the best tennis of her life in the first set and early in the second set.  She was destroying the ball, hitting extremely early and really attacking hard on Azarenka’s 2nd serve, which is the first time I have seen anyone do so forecefully all year.
Azarenka was well and truly rattled and her run looked to be coming to an abrupt and disappointing end; however the jitters had to come at at some point and they did rather spectacularly as Cibulkova felt the nerves and faltered serving for the match on two occasions.  Azarenka became more consistent and started getting her returns in the court as she managed to claw out the second set on a tiebreak.  Cibulkova fought admirably in the final set, but Azarenka stood tall to register a satisfying victory, 1-6 7-6 7-5 and book a quarter-final date with Marion Bartoli.

Dominika Cibulkova

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