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Cibulkova into Wimbledon quarters after umpire row

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LONDON — 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 as 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.

Fognini stuns Nadal 6-4, 6-2 to reach Monte Carlo final

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MONACO (AP) Fabio Fognini ended Rafael Nadal’s long winning streak at the Monte Carlo Masters, stunning the defending champion 6-4, 6-2 Saturday to reach the final for the first time and hand Nadal his first defeat here since 2015.

The 13th-seeded Italian had beaten Nadal twice before on clay, and also once at the U.S. Open in five sets, but this was arguably the most impressive.

Not since the 2005 final, a five-setter which Nadal won in four sets, had the 11-time champion Nadal been beaten 6-0 in a set here. And Fognini came so close to doing just that.

He served for the match at 5-0 and 40-0, but Nadal saved three match points – and some pride – by breaking back and then holding.

Serving again for the match at 5-2, Fognini hit a superb forehand down the line to clinch victory on his fourth match point.

Nadal’s last defeat here was also in the semifinals, against Novak Djokovic in 2015. He had not lost a set at the clay-court tournament since conceding one in the second round against Britain’s Kyle Edmund in 2017.

Fognini next plays unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic in their first-ever meeting, and one few would have predicted happening here.

The 48th-ranked Lajovic earlier staged a remarkable comeback from 5-1 down to beat 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1.

Lajovic won 10 straight games to open up a 4-0 lead in the second set before Medvedev finally held serve. But after saving one match point, the Russian player tamely hit a return long on his opponent’s next opportunity.

It could have been an all-Serb semifinal but Medvedev knocked out the top-ranked Djokovic in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Saturday’s match started in difficult conditions, with a heavy wind coming in from the Mediterranean.

Serving for the first set at 5-1, Medvedev dropped his serve and remonstrated with himself.

Lajovic clinched the first set on serve, with Medvedev completely mistiming the ball and sending it skyward.

The 28-year-old Lajovic was ill before the tournament and said he needed antibiotics to recover.

He struggled to describe his surprise run.

“Incredible … Unreal,” he said, before settling on “It’s been a great week.”

Lajovic stages comeback to reach Monte Carlo final

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MONACO (AP) Unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic staged a remarkable comeback from 5-1 down to beat 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1 in the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals on Saturday.

Lajovic won 10 straight games to open up a 4-0 lead in the second set before Medvedev finally held serve. But after saving one match point, the Russian player tamely hit a return long on his opponent’s next opportunity.

The 48th-ranked Lajovic now plays in his first career final against 11-time champion Rafael Nadal or 13th-seeded Fabio Fognini.

It could have been an all-Serb semi but Medvedev knocked out top-ranked Novak Djokovic in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Saturday’s match started in difficult conditions, with a heavy wind coming in from the Mediterranean blowing clay around the court.

Serving for the set at 5-1, Medvedev dropped his serve and remonstrated with himself.

He had good cause.

The first-set turnaround was complete when Lajovic clinched it on serve, with Medvedev completely mistiming the ball and sending it skyward.