Daniela Hantuchova vs Dominika Cibulkova, Wimbledon R1 Preview

Daniela Hantuchova vs Dominika Cibulkova

An all slovakian first round match sees Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova go head to head for the first time in over three years. This promises to be a very competitive first round match between two former quarter-finalists at the Championships.

Daniela Hantuchova has had a disappointing season. As a result, the veterans ranking continues to slide. Hantuchova has always performed well on grass and will be aiming for one last solid run at the All England Club.

Daniela participated in two grass court tournaments in the lead up to Wimbledon. The Slovakian suffered a horrible first up loss to Magda Linette in Nottingham but recovered from that loss with a strong showing at Birmingham where she reached the quarter-finals. Daniela defeated three reasonable opponents on route to the quarter-finals before falling to Sabine Lisicki in straight sets.


Dominika Cibulkova has spent the majority of the season on the sidelines recovering from an achilles injury and as a result enters Wimbledon as a dangerous unseeded floater. Domi made her long awaited return from an achilles injury last week at the Aegon International at Eastbourne, where she made a solid return, defeating Lucie Safarova on route to the third round.

Domi has made a good habit of performing well at Grand Slams and will be a very dangerous opponents this week given she really has nothing to lose in just her second tournament back from a serious injury.


Remarkably, Daniela Hantuchova holds a perfect 4-0 head to head record over Dominika. However that head to head record is somewhat irrelevant as the two haven’t squared off for over three years. Their most recent encounter took place in Brisbane back in 2012, Hantuchova prevailed in a tight three set match.

Despite the lopsided head to head record, I expect Domi to come through this one. Cibulkova showed good signs in Eastbourne and should be able to pick up her first career victory over her compatriot. Hantuchova has really struggled against the higher ranked players this year, although Domi’s ranking has slipped she is still a solid top 20 player.

Dominika Cibulkova to defeat Daniela Hantuchova in 3 sets 

Ajla Tomljanovic vs Daniela Hantuchova Preview, Pattaya City Final

Ajla Tomljanovic vs Daniela Hantuchova 

Sunday’s Pattaya City final promises to be a beauty, as two ladies at very different stages of their careers both desperately compete for an elusive title. This may be the last chance for two time former champion Daniela Hantuchova to win a title whilst Ajla Tomljanovic will be aiming to capture her first WTA title in what will be her first tour level final.

Ajla Tomljanovic reached her first tour level final with a gruelling 7-6 5-7 7-6 victory over a Monica Puig. Tomljanovic looked to be in complete control of the match midway through the second set when she led by a set and break and had a chance to go up a double break. Ajla was cool under pressure and never once showed any negative body language.

However the match quickly changed, Puig saved a break point serving at 2-4 before breaking Ajla’s serve to keep the match alive. Puig stunned Ajla, raising her level just when it looked like she had nothing left to give. Ajla didn’t respond in time and Puig sent the match to a decider.

The deciding set was a tight affair. Tomljanovic led for the majority of the set but failed to serve out the match at 5-4. Ajla would once again serve for the match at 6-5 but again she couldn’t do it, Puig breaking to force a third set tiebreaker. Ajla should have closed out the match at 6-4 in the tiebreaker but sent a forehand long. Despite all the squandered opportunities Ajla never lost her cool, finally closing out the match on her fourth match point.


Daniela Hantuchova was also forced to work extremely hard for her semifinal victory in Pattaya. The Slovak battled past Marina Erakovic 4-6 6-3 7-6 to give herself a chance to capture her third title in Pattaya. Daniela struggled in her return games during the opening set, winning just four points for the entire set. However Dani managed to turn things around in the second set, breaking multiple times to force the match to a decider.

The third set was exhausting. It was Hantuchova who secured the early break and it looked like she would run away with the match. However Erakovic raised her level and started playing some outrageous shots to bring up a 5-3 lead. Erakovic failed to serve out the match before Hantuchova saved two match points to level the set at 5-5. At 6-5 it was Hantuchova’s turn to serve for the match but she also failed to do so as the third set went to a tiebreaker.

Dani was far better in the tiebreaker, as experience eventually prevailed. Daniela reaching her first final since Birmingham 2013.


The head to head record between these two is split at 1-1. Tomljanovic prevailed in their most recent encounter, a 6-4 7-5 victory in Sydney last year. Hantuchova’s victory came way back in 2011, a 6-0 2-6 6-4 victory in Quebec City.

This is a massive opportunity for both ladies. Finals have been few and far between for Daniela over the past few seasons, this may well be her last chance to win a title. Tomljanovic on the other hand will be aiming to win her first career title. Since moving to Australia, Tomljanovic has continued to improve, a title in Pattaya would be a big step in the right direction for the youngster.

This match is extremely tough to call, I’m going to side with Ajla. The youngster has more power in her game, her groundstrokes are bigger and her serve is bigger. If Ajla keeps her nerve she should be able to overpower Daniela.

Prediction: Ajla Tomljanovic to defeat Daniela Hantuchova in 3 sets

Alize Cornet vs Daniela Hantuchova Preview – US Open 2nd Round

(22) Alize Cornet vs Daniela Hantuchova

In one of Wednesday’s most intriguing second round matches, Alize Cornet will take on 2013 quarter-finalist Daniela Hantuchova. Cornet will be looking to break a string of four consecutives losses to the Slovakian.

Alize Cornet made a strong start to her 2014 US Open campaign, comprehensively defeating Amandine Hesse 6-1 6-2 in just over an hour. Cornet was in control of the match from start to finish, her backhand was particularly commanding. Cornet will need to be on top of her game if she is to defeat Daniela for the first time since 2009.


Daniela Hantuchova has a significant amount of points to defend over the next couple of weeks, the Slovakian will be desperate to avoid an early exit and a massive rankings drop. Hantuchova came from a break down in the third set to defeat Romina Oprandi 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Hantuchova has a 6-3 head-to-head record over Alize. However the two have gone in separate directions since their most recent clash, which took place at the London Olympics in 2012. Both ladies struggled during the US Open series, however Alize has been much more impressive throughout the season. Hantuchova hasn't had any notable victories this season; I can’t see that changing here.

Prediction: Alize Cornet to defeat Daniela Hantuchova in 2 sets

2014 Rogers Cup – Day 2 – First Round Match Previews/Predictions

(11) Caroline Wozniacki vs Daniela Hantuchova

Former champion, Caroline Wozniacki begins her Rogers Cup campaign on Tuesday afternoon when she takes on Daniela Hantuchova in the opening round. Caroline comes into the event with some confidence, having claimed her first title of the season a couple of weeks a go in Istanbul. Ever since Eastbourne, the Dane has been playing much better tennis. Daniela Hantuchova has struggled to defeat players ranked above her this season. Unfortunately Daniela is becoming irrelevant and her past record against the Dane suggests she will suffer another first round loss on Tuesday.

Caroline Wozniacki has defeated Daniela in 6 of their 7 pervious encounters. Their last meeting was in Sofia back in 2012, Wozniacki came from a set down to defeat Daniel in three tight sets. Daniela will need to be super aggressive if she has any chance of defeating Caroline on Tuesday. However, the Slovakian has shown nothing to suggest she is capable of causing an upset, Caro should come through this match in two tight sets.

Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki to defeat Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets

Venus Williams vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

One of the matches of the day sees a resurgent Venus Williams take on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the opening round of the Rogers cup. Venus had a positive week in Stanford, where she defeated Victoria Azarenka in straight sets in the second round. It was a high quality match; Venus played particularly well at certain stages throughout the match and was too good for a rusty Vika on the night. Venus couldn't progress past the quarter-finals, losing a tight third set to Andrea Petkovic. Venus has shown over the past couple of months that she is still capable of producing tennis at a high enough level to compete with just about anyone.

Pavlyuchenkova had an okay week in Washington, winning consecutive matches for the firs time since Madrid. Anastasia was eventually knocked out of the tournament in the quarter-finals courtesy of a straight sets loss to compatriot Ekaterina Makarova.

The head to head record is split at 2-2; Venus won their most recent match way back in Dubai 2010. Assuming both are fit and ready to play, this is a tough match to predict. At the moment Venus is playing the better tennis out of the two and should come out on top.

Prediction: Venus Williams to defeat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets