Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova produced one of the best performances of her career on Sunday to dump world number one Victoria Azarenka out of the French Open in the fourth round.
Azarenka, the top seed from Belarus, had survived a scare in the first round on Monday when unheralded Italian Alberta Brianti pushed her all the way, but there was no let-off as 15th seed Cibulkova clinically completed a 6-2 7-6 (7/4) triumph in one hour 47 minutes.
Cibulkova raced through the first set on Court Suzanne Lenglen and looked to be cruising into the last eight when she established a 4-2 lead in the second.
Azarenka responded well, though, and two breaks of serve saw her turn the second set on its head. She soon led 6-5 and found herself serving to level things up at one set all.
However, Cibulkova was not about to let the Australian Open champion have it all her own way. The 23-year-old wasted no time asserting her authority in the tie-break and swiftly earned three match points.
Azarenka saved the first after an entertaining rally, but Cibulkova held her nerve and sealed a brilliant victory in style with a superb backhand crosscourt winner.
Azarenka admitted "pretty much everything" had gone wrong and the Belarusian said: "I don't know how to describe my performance really today. It wasn't satisfying at all. It wasn't satisfying being out there playing that way.
"But I guess it happens. I don't know even what to find positive in my performance today. Maybe in a few hours I'll find something that I can be happy with.
"She's definitely a good player. I think she plays much better against the top players than maybe a little bit lower-ranked players. She really has that desire. I don't know what motivates her to play that way.
"She's a dangerous opponent. She had big wins before, and it was no surprise that she was going to be playing well today.
"(Against Cibulkova) before I was at least making something happen myself. Today I couldn't do it. It was just not going for me. I tried everything. All I could hope for was her mistakes."
Azarenka admitted she is mentally jaded after a demanding season and she is not planning to play any grass-court tournaments in the build-up to Wimbledon.
"There has been a lot of tennis for me in the last five months," she said.
"I haven't been home in a while, and it's something that I need just to get rested mentally, definitely, and just to get out of the tennis field a little bit. And once I have my passion and desire back on the court, I'll be on the grass."
Cibulkova's best performance in a slam came here in 2009, when she reached the semi-finals, but she admitted the losses to Azarenka had weighed on her mind.
"You can't be human if you weren't thinking about that," she said. "Because this year in Miami I was 6-1 5-2 up against her. And last year in Miami it was the same.
"Today it happened the same when I was 4-2 up. And that's why I got a little bit, not nervous, but not going for my shots anymore.
"But today it was a great thing that I managed to go through these emotions. She was 6-5 up, and I said, 'Hey, come on, you have to play your game again and just make it'.
"And for the tie-break I'm very, very proud of myself that I was still going for my shots, and I just made it because she would never give me the match."
In the last eight Cibulkova will play sixth seed Sam Stosur, who is now a hot favourite to reach her second final at Roland Garros.
The Australian, who lost the showpiece to Francesca Schiavone in 2010, recovered from 5-3 down in the first set today to beat 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens 7-5 6-4.