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Australian Open Women's Day 10

By Chris Pike
22 January 2014 02:50PM EST

AGNIESZKA Radwanska has dominated the first and third sets to eliminate two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka and set up a semi-final Australian Open clash with Dominika Cibulkova.

The final two women's quarter finals at the 2014 Australian Open were played on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday with 20th-seed Slovak Cibulkova needing just an hour to beat 11th-seeded Romanian Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0.

Azarenka, the winner of the 2012 and 2013 Australian Opens, then continued her title defence next up against world No. 5 Pole Radwanska, and it was Radwanska who prevailed in three sets, 6-1, 5-7, 6-0.

The result means that the top three women – Serena Williams, Azarenka and Maria Sharapova – are all out of the Australian Open heading into the semi finals.

Cibulkova and Radwanska will now play off for a spot in Saturday night's final with both in an Australian Open semi-final for the first time while the other semi pits two-time finalist and world No. 4 Li Na up against another first timer, 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.

After the women's quarter finals began on Tuesday with Li Na beating Flavia Pennetta and Bouchard downing Williams' conqueror and former world No. 1 Ivanovic, they concluded on Wednesday with the result being both women earning an Australian Open semi-final berth for the first.

The action began with Slovak Republic's Cibulkova taking on emerging Romanian Halep, but it proved to be scarcely a contest.

The match lasted only an hour with Halep managing to win only three games as Cibulkova continued the most dominant two-week period of her career to date.

The 24-year-old 20th-seed broke her opponents serve five times, hit 17 winners while getting 77 per cent of her first serves in and winning 76 per cent of them.

Throughout the whole match, Cibulkova lost just five points on her second serve and three of those came from double-faults.

Meanwhile, Halep wasn’t on song at all hitting 25 unforced errors, winning just 45 per cent of her first serves and 43 per cent of her second, but it has still been the best Grand Slam performance of her career in Melbourne to kick off 2014.

Azarenka and Radwanska then took the spotlight on Rod Laver Arena to see who would face Cibulkova in the semi finals, with the Belarusian coming in full of confidence having not dropped a set through the first four rounds, having won the last two Australian Opens and having won 12 of her last 13 matches against Radwanska.

However, that all counted for precious little as the match got underway with the world No. 5 from Poland dominating the first set taking it out six games to one breaking Azarenka's serve twice while the Belarusian hit 17 unforced errors.

The world No. 2 hit back in the second set, though, with Radwanska crumbling in her final service game of the set when attempting to send it to a tie-break.

Azarenka took full advantage of some uncharacteristic mistakes from her opponent to win the set 7-5 and force a deciding third set with a semi-final berth on the line.

Again, though, that proved to not be a contest as Radwanska returned to her blistering form of the first set, and Azarenka went back to playing error-riddled tennis.

Azarenka hit 15 unforced errors again in the third set alone and only managed to win 14 points in total and not manage to win a single game, with Radwanska's ability to chase down everything and make some incredible passing shots when getting there at times simply breathtaking.

She raced through the first set with 11 winners, losing just four points on her serve all set breaking Azarenka's serve three times to find herself in her first ever semi-final in Melbourne, and just her third overall in Grand Slams.

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