In a true measure of poetic justice, one of the most unpredictable Australian Opens in recent memory will feature a women’s semifinal pitting a significant but underachieving talent against a budding star who until this week has performed largely under the radar.
On the strength of an impressive three-set victory over two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka, potential-rich Agnieszka Radwanska will square off against upstart Dominika Cibulkova in a semifinal match few saw coming during an Australian fortnight that no one will soon forget.
Radwanska, who is on the short list of the best women without a Grand Slam title, overcame a bumpy second set to notch a convincing 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 victory over Azarenka, reaching her first-ever Australian semifinal in the process.
Likewise, Cibulkova, who has been almost unstoppable in this championship, made easy work of Simona Halep, dispatching the 11th seed 6-3, 6-0 to reach the second Slam semifinal of her young career.
On the strength of those victories, the pair will square off in a much-anticipated battle that will deliver one to within a victory of a career-defining moment and the other to unavoidable disappointment.
Here’s a look at what to expect when the unpredictable Radwanska meets the up-and-coming Cibulkova in the second women’s semifinal Down Under.