Radwanska vs. Cibulkova: Australian Open 2014 Women's Semifinal Recap and Result

Tim KeeneyContributor IJanuary 23, 2014

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia celebrates after defeating  Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Aaron Favila/Associated Press

Dominika  Cibulkova is going to her first Grand Slam final. 

Playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal appearance in nearly five years, the 24-year-old Slovakian—who had never made it past the fourth round in Melbourne before this year—rolled past world No. 5 Agnieszka  Radwanska, 6-1, 6-2, to set up a meeting with Li Na in the Australian Open final. 

Despite coming in as the underdog, it was domination from start to finish for Cibulkova. She hit 21 winners, broke Radwanska six times and was absolutely dialed in for much of the match.

The Australian Open Twitter feed gave a look at her elation upon winning:

After the world No. 24 jumped out to an early lead with a break on Radwanska's first service game, the 24-year-old Pole had a chance to bounce back but let five break points slip through her grasp.

It was an unfortunate theme of the match for Radwanska, who scored just one break all day despite nine break-point opportunities. 

That hold gave Cibulkova all the momentum she needed, as it let her loosen up and become the aggressor. From that point on, it was nearly flawless tennis for the rest of the match. 

She went on to break Radwanska twice more in the opening set, and the five-time Australian Open quarterfinalist simply had no answer. It took just 37 minutes for Cibulkova to put away the first set, as she smashed 10 winners and won 57 percent of her return points. 

The second set was more of the same. 

After Cibulkova scored another early break to grab a 2-0 lead, it once again looked like Radwanska was going to bounce back. She grabbed a 40-love lead, but Cibulkova erased three straight break points and went on to hold for 3-0. 

Give Radwanska credit, though. She didn't quit. 

Despite falling behind 4-0 in the second set, which marked eight straight games for her opponent, Radwanska earned her first break of the match with her back against the wall and held impressively on her next service game.

But Cibulkova was too powerful and too accurate, breaking Radwanska with four straight points in the final game to seal the lightning-fast win. The final set lasted just 33 minutes, with Cibulkova smashing 11 more winners and winning 68 percent of her return points. 

Her first Grand Slam final will come against now three-time Australian Open finalist Li Na, who strolled past Eugenie Bouchard in the other semifinal.