It took all the way to the quarterfinals for the first upset to happen at the 2015 Toray Pan Pacific Open. Thursday’s final match of the night finally saw one of the top seeds suffer defeat in Tokyo as Dominika Cibulkova sent 2014 Tokyo champion Ana Ivanovic off to Wuhan.
Despite having fought a stomach virus less than 24 hours ago, Cibulkova edged out Ivanovic in a tight first-set tiebreak and never looked back as the match drew to a close in straight sets, earning the Slovakian the first semifinal of the season and the first major success since her surgery earlier this year.
The other three quarterfinal match-ups ended somewhat less surprising. Agniezska Radwanska had little problems getting past Karolina Pliskova in straight sets, while Belinda Bencic prevailed in the duel between the promising young WTA stars against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.
Perhaps the most stunning match of the night was Caroline Wozniacki’s encounter with friend Angelique Kerber. The rematch of their Stuttgart final that ended in Kerber’s favor took the audience for an exciting three-set ride with plenty of close games and exciting tennis. After Wozniacki quickly decided the first set in her favor and Kerber recovered in the second, the third set finally decided the match in the Dane’s favor, as Kerber failed to take her many changes to work up a sizable lead on the former world #1.
Wozniacki will now take on Belinda Bencic in the semifinal while Dominika Cibulkova will be playing Agnieszka Radwanska to set up Sunday’s 2015 Toray Pan Pacific Open final.