Posted: Tue January 21, 2014 11:09PM; Updated: Tue January 21, 2014 11:08PM

Cibulkova blows past Halep, reaches Aussie Open semifinals

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Dominika Cibulkova
Dominika Cibulkova has reached her second career semifinal at a Grand Slam.
Paul Crock/Getty Images

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Dominika Cibulkova won the last eight games in a one-hour, 6-3, 6-0 quarterfinal rout of No. 11-seeded Simona Halep at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The diminutive Cibulkova, among the shortest women on the WTA tour at 1.61 meters (5-feet-3), pounded Halep from the back of the court to progress to her first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2009 French Open. It was her second win in five major quarterfinals and served as a harsh lesson for Halep, who was appearing in her first.

''I'm not so tall, but I'm intense on the court,'' Cibulkova said, ''and I'm powerful.''

Halep only won 10 points in the second set as Cibulkova relentlessly attacked.

No. 20-seeded Cibulkova, who beat Maria Sharapova in three sets in the fourth round, will play the winner of Wednesday's later quarterfinal between two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska.

Cibulkova said her experience in the quarterfinals was the biggest factor against Halep, as ''I was ready today and I knew what to expect ... I was perfect.''

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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