Cibulkova bumps off Jankovic at Rogers Cup
Slovakian teen Dominika Cibulkova won eight straight games at the Rogers Cup en route to an upset win Friday over second seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.
Cibulkova, 19, won by a score of 7-5, 6-2 at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal to advance to the women's semifinals in her first career win in three tries against her opponent.
"I'm just starting to feel more confidence in myself," Cibulkova said. "I'm starting to believe that I can beat the best players in the world. I'm not giving them as much respect."
Jankovic roared out to a 5-1 lead in the first set but could not hold her serve. Things didn't pick up for her at the beginning of the second set. Cibulkova broke in the first game of the set, with Jankovic making a pair of careless errors.
Jankovic battled during the third game of the set on her serve but then failed to score a point on Cibulkova's in the next game. The Serbian, who suffered a torn meniscus in her left knee at Wimbledon, appeared out of sorts in the final set, offering lethargic movement.
'I am not at my highest level'
For the second consecutive week, Jankovic missed an opportunity to take over the top ranking in the women's game from Ana Ivanovic. Jankovic could have achieved the feat by reaching Sunday's final.
"At the moment I don't deserve that spot," Jankovic said. "I am not in the best shape. I am not at my highest level. So it will take time for me to get better."
Cibulkova jumped from 51st to No. 31 in the women's rankings over the past year, and she'll make another gain after her performance this week. She earlier beat fifth seed Elena Dementieva and No. 12 Nadia Petrova, both of Russia.
In the semis, she will take on Marion Bartoli of France, who defeated veteran Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-2, 6-3.
Bartoli had more problems with her health than with Sugiyama. Her progress to victory was halted by a thigh cramp in the second set. Earlier in the week, the 10th seed said she had been bothered by a virus.
Battle of teens
Seventh-seeded Russian Dinara Safina of Russia booked her spot in the final four with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 quarter-final win Friday evening over fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Safina sports a 26-3 record with nine victories over top-10 players since May 11.
"I just go on the court and I take every opponent 100 per cent seriously," Safina said to explain her recent hot streak. "I respect them all. I try to go on the court and give my 100 per cent and let's see who's going to be stronger that day."
Safina will take on No. 11 seed Victoria Azarenka. The Belarus star defeated Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-4, 7-5 in Friday night's other quarter-final matchup.
The field opened up with the withdrawal of No. 3 Maria Sharapova and Paszek's upset win Thursday night over Ivanovic.
CBC Sports will broadcast both Rogers Cup women's semifinals on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. ET), followed by the championship match on Sunday (1:30 p.m. ET).
Both Canadian women still involved in the doubles draw Friday were eliminated in quarter-final action.
Russians Vera Zvonareva and Elena Vesnina topped Marie-Eve Pelletier of Repentigny, Que., and Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 6-3, 6-4.
Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Liezel Huber of the United States defeated Stéphanie Dubois of Laval, Que., and Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-4, 6-1.
Dubois had success this week in the singles draw, scoring an upset over seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia before bowing out to Jankovic.
With files from the Canadian Press