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Tennis: Serena Williams to meet Cibulkova in Aussie Open quarters

AP , Monday 26 Jan 2015
Serena Williams
Serena Williams of the US reacts after hitting autographed balls into the crowd following her win over Canada's Eugenie Bouchard during their singles match at the WTA tennis finals in Singapore,Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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Motivated by a Grand Slam loss that stung her more than most, Serena Williams dug deep for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback win over Garbine Muguruza on Monday to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals.

The top-ranked Williams was pushed all the way by No. 24-seeded Muguruza, who matched her in the heavy-hitting stakes, and who had conceded only four games to her in a second-round upset last year at the French Open.

Five-time Australian Open winner Williams next faces Dominika Cibulkova, who reproduced the kind of tennis that took her to the final here last year as she beat two-time champion Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8) to move into the men's quarterfinals, where he'll play U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori

Spurred on by hundreds of flag-waving Japanese supporters at Rod Laver Arena, No. 5-ranked Nishikori had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 9 David Ferrer, who reached the French Open final and Australian Open semis in 2013.

His routine win was unlike the three-setter Williams endured, when she appeared to be laboring and had a serious cough. Williams struggled with her serve in the first set, winning only one of a dozen points on her second serve. She couldn't convert her six break-point chances, while Muguruza broke her twice.

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