Australian Open: Agnieszka Radwanska ousts Victoria Azarenka
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka has lost to Agnieszka Radwanska in the Australian Open quarter-finals.
Last Updated: 22/01/14 2:11pm
Azarenka had won the title for the previous two years and on both occasions had shared top billing with men's champion Novak Djokovic, who was looking to claim a fourth straight crown.
Djokovic's hopes were ended on Tuesday when Stanislas Wawrinka turned the tables in five compelling sets, and on Wednesday Radwanska produced a tremendous display to defeat Azarenka 6-1 5-7 6-0.
The Pole had lost their last seven matches and 12 straight sets against Azarenka dating back to a quarter-final meeting here two years ago. But she was on her game from the start while Azarenka could not find her range.
Radwanska had lost in the quarter-finals for the last three years, and the fifth seed said: "I have played a couple of quarter-finals before and I said to myself one day I need to take one step forward and make the semi-final and final. I'm so, so happy that I did it finally.
"It was always hard. I have lost so many times against her before and I knew she was a very great player, very consistent so I just knew that I had to play my best tennis.
"Play aggressive and go for every shot that I could. That was what I was trying to do and it worked today."
Radwanska now plays Dominika Cibulkova, who followed up her victory over Maria Sharapova by crushing Simona Halep 6-3 6-0.
Romanian Halep never found her rhythm and world No 24 Cibulkova took just an hour to triumph 6-3 6-0 on Rod Laver Arena.
The 24-year-old Slovakian's only previous grand slam semi-final came at the French Open in 2009 and she has never made a final.
Her previous best at Melbourne Park had been a fourth-round appearance in the same year but she carried on the form she had shown in upsetting third seed Sharapova in the fourth round.
"Of course I'm really glad with the way I played, especially with the way I handled it mentally," said Cibulkova.
"It was a big win against Maria but I wasn't favourite in this match against Halep.
"But I walked on the court confident that I could do it again today. I was so focused on what I had to do."