Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cibulkova avenges shutout loss for Stanford title

   Dominika Cibulkova fell to the court and covered her face in disbelief as if she had just won Wimbledon.
   Who could blame her?
   Cibulkova had just shocked Agnieszka Radwanska  3-6, 6-4, 6-4 today to win the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
   Radwanska entered the match with a 4-0 record against Cibulkova, including a 6-0, 6-0 thrashing in their last meeting. The shutout at Sydney in January was the first in a WTA final in more than six years and the first of Cibulkova's career.
   But the third-seeded Cibulkova, only 5-foot-3 (1.61 meters), played aggressively from the backcourt at Stanford to topple the No. 1 seed. After Cubulkova ripped a backhand crosscourt passing shot on her fifth championship point to end the 2-hour, 30-minute battle, her father, Milan, ran out of the stands to hug her.
   “The difference between Sydney and today was that I made the first game," Cibulkova, who served to open the match, told reporters. "And after the first game, I looked at my coach and was like, ‘Here we go. I’m out here, and it’s going to be good today.' "
   Cibulkova overcame two service breaks in the final set, both on double faults, and won the last four games.
   “I didn’t use my chances when I was 4-2 up, and I paid the price,” said Radwanska, who also blew a 3-0 lead in the final set of her semifinal loss to Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon early this month.
   Cibulkova, from Slovakia, earned $125,000 for her third career WTA singles title in eight finals. She is expected to rise from No. 25 in the world to No. 21 when the new rankings are released on Monday.
   Poland's Radwanska, a Wimbledon finalist last year, pocketed $68,200. Ranked fourth, she fell to 12-5 in WTA singles finals.
   The 24-year-old players, born exactly two months apart in 1989, often met as juniors in Europe.
   In the doubles final, top-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of Fresno and Abigail Spears of San Diego topped second-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany and Darija Jurak of Croatia 6-2, 7-6 (4).
   Kops-Jones, 30, starred across San Francisco Bay at Cal in the early 2000s. She won the NCAA doubles title 10 years ago with Sacramento native Christina Fusano.
   Kastles three-peat -- The host Washington Kastles routed the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers 25-12 for their third straight World TeamTennis title.
   Washington joined the Sacramento Capitals as the only teams to earn three consecutive WTT crowns. Sacramento won four in a row (1997-2000).
   The Kastles' winning margin was the largest since WTT switched to a first-to-five-games format in sets in 1999. The Capitals held the previous mark of eight against the New York Buzz in 2002.

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