New Zealand's Marina Erakovic plays a forehand against
Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova during their women's singles
match at the French Open in Paris. Photo Getty Images
Marina Erakovic has advanced to the third round at the
French Open for the first time in her career after stunning
16th-seed Dominika Cibulkova overnight.
The Kiwi No. 1 beat Cibulkova in three sets 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 in
a match that lasted two hours and 38 minutes.
Erakovic went into the second round match having lost the
previous two meetings with the Slovakian but held her nerve
in the final set to hand the 2012 quarter-finalist an early
With Erakovic leading 5-2 in the third set, Cibulkova came
back to make it 5-4 before the New Zealander took out victory
with a break at match point in the 10th game.
Erakovic had more unforced errors than Cibulkova in the match
(38-31) but finished well ahead on winners (38-17).
The victory means this is the furthest Erakovic has
progressed in Paris after a previous best of reaching the
second round in 2008. She becomes the first New Zealander to
reach the third round at the French Open. It equals her best
performance at a Grand Slam after reaching the third round in
Wimbledon, also in 2008.
She will now meet American 17th seed Sloane Stephens in the
next round after Stephens defeated compatriot Vania King 6-1,
Erakovic and Stephens have meet just once previously with
Erakovic coming out on top at the US National Indoor Tennis
Championships in Memphis last year in three sets. They have
never met on clay.
Stephens reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open
earlier in the year after upsetting fellow American Serena
Williams in the quarter-finals.
Erakovic was set to open her doubles campaign today with
partner Cara Black against German duo Angelique Kerber and
Andrea Petkovic but their first round match was moved to
tomorrow due to a rain delay.