Cibulkova into Wimbledon quarters after umpire spat
LONDON (AP) — Not for the first time at Wimbledon, Dominika Cibulkova was left agitated by a decision that went against her.
Having been upset at missing out on a seeding at the start of the tournament, the Slovakian was angered when a crucial ruling went against her during the first set of a 6-4, 6-1 fourth-round victory over Hsieh Su-Wei on Monday.
In the third Wimbledon quarterfinal of her career, Cibulkova will face 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who also overcame a disagreement with an official on her way to reaching the last eight.
Two points from the first set at 4-5, 0-30 on Hsieh’s serve, Cibulkova was awarded a set point, before having it taken away from her after a seven-minute delay involving discussions between both players, the chair umpire, and the match referee.
“It never happened to me that the umpire changed the decision,” Cibulkova said. “It was really ridiculous for me. It was (a) really bad decision from the supervisor and from the umpire.”
Cibulkova was aggrieved before the tournament when her place as the 32nd and final seeded player was taken away. Seven-time champion Serena Williams was given special dispensation by the All England Club on her return from pregnancy.
The Slovakian’s patience was tested again when a backhand she struck onto the baseline was called out. Hsieh, who defeated top-seeded Simona Halep in the previous round, returned the ball over the net and into the court as Cibulkova immediately challenged.
After the review confirmed the ball landed on the line, umpire Juan Zhang awarded the point to Cibulkova.
Hsieh of Taiwan protested to the Chinese umpire in a language that Cibulkova couldn’t understand before the match referee became involved as calls of “replay the point” came from a bemused crowd on Court 18.
After seven minutes, the decision was finally changed and the point replayed.
“It was all wrong,” Cibulkova said. “It really messed with me for two balls, then I tried to just calm down, to play my game.”
Cibulkova did just that, regaining her composure to break and take the first set, before comfortably closing out victory in the second.
The 12th-seeded Ostapenko was given a code violation for receiving coaching while beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 7-6 (4), 6-0.
The warning came with Ostapenko two breaks of serve down at 2-5 and on the verge of losing her first set at these championships. The Latvian insisted nobody from her box said anything.
“That code violation made me even more motivated and angry,” Ostapenko said. “So I just started to play better.”
Ostapenko lost only one more game as she progressed to a second consecutive Wimbledon quarterfinal.
“You never know what to expect from her (Ostapenko),” Cibulkova said. “In this tournament, she seems to be in the right mood.”
On Tuesday, Cibulkova may want to avoid putting Ostapenko in a bad mood.
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