Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Preview
(24) 🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova vs 🇪🇪 Kaia Kanepi
A fascinating opening round clash at Melbourne Park on Monday sees the 24th seeded Dominika Cibulkova come up against the dangerous, in-form Estonian Kaia Kanepi. Cibulkova and Kanepi both had good preparation leading into the first Grand Slam of the year. Kanepi reached the quarter-finals in Brisbane whilst Cibulkova reached the quarter-finals in Sydney. This is a tough opening round match-up, one of the toughest in the draw.
Cibulkova, a former finalist at the Australian Open, started her 2018 campaign in Sydney last week where she reached the quarter-finals. Cibulkova started her Sydney campaign with straight set wins over Anastasija Sevastova and Elena Vesnina but was no match for Angelique Kerber in the quarter-finals. The eventual champion beat Cibulkova 6-3 6-1.
Kaia Kanepi started her 2018 campaign in perfect fashion. Kanepi made it through the qualifying draw, winning all 3 matches in straight sets. Kanepi then went on to beat Kasatkina and Tsurenko in the main draw before squandering a set and a break lead against Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals. It was a great week for Kanepi who showed again that her best tennis is still very, very dangerous.
Kanepi holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Cibulkova. It has been a long time since these two played, most recently it was Kanepi that won 6-4 7-6 on clay in Brussels in 2013.