• French Open, Day 10

Cibulkova: Stosur played like a man

ESPN staff
June 5, 2012
Sam Stosur was too powerful for the diminutive Dominika Cibulkova © PA Photos

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Federer rallies to beat Del Potro
Djokovic breaks Tsonga's heart
Stosur sails into semis

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Dominika Cibulkova admitted she had no answer to a physically superior Sam Stosur as she bowed out at the quarter-final stage.

"I have to say that she played unbelievably today," Cibulkova said. "Her topspin and her serve, I mean, she played like a man, and it's really hard to play against a man. It was driving me crazy on the court today. As a player, she's very fit. I'm not saying anything bad. I'm just saying she's playing like a man.

"I mean nobody has a serve like her. She's kicking the serve so much so she gets me out of the court, and her topspin from the forehand, nobody is playing topspin like her. It's more men's style, so it's what I meant."

Stosur, who lost in the final to Francesca Schiavone two years ago, was delighted to reach the semi-finals for the third time in her career.

"I'm very, very pleased with the way I played today and to get through," Stosur said. "She runs very fast, she's got quick legs, likes to be aggressive and hit that forehand so you've got to make sure you hit the right shots at the right time. The last few years have been very good to me in Paris. I love playing on this court and it doesn't get any better than this."

Stosur will face Sara Errani in the semi-finals after the agile Italian got the better of Angelique Kerber in straight sets.

"I don't have the power of the big girls so I have to use speed, resistance and use my head because it can be difficult for me sometimes when an opponent is stronger," Errani said. "I worked hard all winter, but I also changed my racket which made me feel better on the court."

Novak Djokovic could only think of his well-needed recovery time after saving four match points to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals. He now faces Roger Federer in the last four.

"The good thing is that we both have two days off now to rest," Djokovic said. "And I hope to have another great match like we did in 2011. It's always a big challenge to play Roger. He's a fantastic player, a big champion.

"It was incredible from the start. I played really well for a set and a break up. The crowd supported Jo. He started playing really well. It was really difficult to stay focused but I was believing maybe I could have my chances. He was playing really aggressive. If he would have won today, he would have been a well-deserved winner."

Tsonga confessed his body gave up on him in the latter stages of the four-hour clash with Djokovic.

"I'm not going to regret many things in that match. I gave everything I had," Tsonga said. "I fought as much as I could. Unfortunately at the end I had no energy left in my legs. I'll try and remember this match and this loss so I have more confidence in tournaments like Wimbledon. Because if I can hurt the top players on clay, I can do worse on grass."

Federer kept the analysis of his victory over Juan Martin Del Potro relatively short. Having recovered from a two-set deficit, the Swiss revealed he had to play without fear.

"Letting go helped me," Federer said. "I pushed harder at the end of the second set. I did favour myself once the match got longer. I'm very happy with the way I fought and started in the third set, fourth set, and even in the fifth set where obviously it was the toughest, because that was his last chance and his resistance maybe was the biggest there."

Del Potro required treatment on his knee injury during the match, but did not think that was the cause of defeat.

"It's my serve. I didn't serve well and this is why I lost the intensity in my game," Del Potro explained. "Federer played much better."

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