Cibulkova thrashes Radwanska to set up Li final

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 23, 2014 12:51 AM

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Dominika Cibulkova grabbed control from the first game and overwhelmed fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2 to become the first Slovakian to reach a grand slam final at the Australian Open on Friday.

Radwanska never got going as the diminutive 20th seed strode around the Rod Laver Arena feasting on the Pole's second serve and blasting winners from both sides to set up a final against China's fourth seed Li Na.

The 24-year-old Cibulkova has been on fire at Melbourne Park this year, belying her seeding by upsetting Maria Sharapova and doling out a string of thrashings as she made her way to the last four.

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She grabbed three breaks of serve to take the first set with a crunching backhand winner and collapsed onto the court in delight after claiming her place in the final when Radwanska netted after 70 minutes.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Patrick Johnston)