30 Jul 2011

Erakovic sent packing at Stanford Classic

6:27 pm on 30 July 2011

New Zealand tennis number one Marina Erakovic has bowed out of the Stanford Classic in California, thrashed 6-1 6-1 by Slovakian eighth-seed Dominika Cibulkova in the quarter-finals.

Erakovic came through qualifying and beat world number four Victoria Azarenka from Belarus in the second round, the Aucklander's biggest scalp so far and her first win over a top 10 player.

Cibulkova now faces Marion Bartoli in the semi-finals, after the French third seed was a set up against Ayumi Morita before the Japanese player retired.

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will meet in the marquee night match, with the winner to face German Sabine Lisicki, who beat Polish fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets.

Erakovic is now ranked 121st in the world and has now won 35 of her past 42 matches after missing much of the 2009 season with a hip injury.

Erakovic's WTA ranking rose to 43 in late 2008 before injury forced her back to the lower-level ITF circuit, where she has won a dozen titles.

The 23-year-old says the injury made her realise how much she loves tennis and that's when she committed herself and she feels likes she can compete with the best, although she expects she'll still have to qualify for the US Open.