Something is rotten for the pride of Denmark.
Less than a week after getting wiped out by Vera Zvonareva in an exhibition, the world's No. 1 tennis player Caroline Wozniacki fell meekly to No. 32 Dominika Cibulkova in the second round of the Medibank International early Tuesday. The match was delayed by rain, but nothing cooled off Cibulkova, who defeated Maria Kirilenko in the first round.
It's the second year in a row that Cibulkova has pulled a big upset in this round at Sydney. In 2010, she stunned then No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-2 in the round of 16.
Combined with her season-ending loss in the WTA Championships last November, Wozniacki has now lost back-to-back matches for the first time since last June, when she lost in the quarterfinals of the French Open, then was upset in the first round at Eastbourne.
It's the second straight year she's tumbled in her first match at Sydney, falling to Na Li in the round of 32 a year ago. It was Cibulkova's first try at knocking off a No. 1-ranked player, since she lost in the third round at Wimbledon last summer to Serena Williams.
Speaking of Li, she had to work a long day to escape the upset bid of France's Virginie Razzano, taking a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 win. Also advancing was Russia's Alisa Kleybanova, who eliminated Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 6-2, 6-4.
Cibulkova played with fire throughout the win over Wozniacki, but remarkably saved nine of 10 break points. Each player committed four double faults, and Cibulkova never hit an ace, but Wozniacki's flood of errors hurt her chances badly.
Wozniacki's early exit gives her two closest competitors—Zvonareva and No. 3 Kim Clijsters—a chance to make up the margin between them and the No. 1 player in a hurry.
Clijsters did not play Sydney last year, meaning any points she earns this week are tacked on to her total. On Tuesday, Clijsters defeated the Czech Republic's Barbora Zahlavova Strycov 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Entering the week, Wozniacki ranked No. 1 with 8,035 points, followed by Zvonareva with 6,785 and Clijsters with 6,355.
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