Mihaela Buzarnescu vs. Dominika Cibulkova, Strasbourg SF Preview

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Internationaux de Strasbourg, SF Preview
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด (4) Mihaela Buzarnescu vs. ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ (5) Dominika Cibulkova

Mihaela Buzarnescu and Dominika Cibulkova will go head-to-head for the first time at the WTA tour level when they meet in Fridayโ€™s first semi-final in Strasbourg. This is a critical match for both, for different reasons. Buzarnescu is still searching for her first career title at this level whilst every win for Cibulkova is big as she continues to gain momentum after some recent poor form.

Buzarnescu started the week with a hard-fought 3 set win over Magda Linette from a set down. Since that match Buzarnescu has been relatively untroubled, claiming straight set wins over Elena Rybakina and Su-Wei Hsieh. The Romanian will be aiming to reach her third final of the year having never previously reached a WTA tour level final before 2018.

Cibulkova has cruised into her second semi-final of the year without dropping a set. The Slovakian started the week with comfortable wins over Chloe Paquet and Reka-Luca Jani before claiming a noteworthy 6-4 6-3 win over defending champion Samantha Stosur, one of the Cibulkovaโ€™s better wins in 2018.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out, the first between the two at this level.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Dominika Cibulkova vs Kaia Kanepi, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R1 Preview
(24) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova vs ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช 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.

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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.

Dominika Cibulkova vs Angelique Kerber, Sydney QF Preview

Sydney International ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿฆˆ QF Preview
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova vs ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Angelique Kerber

A blockbuster quarter-final clash at the Sydney International sees Dominika Cibulkova and Angelique Kerber renew hostilities. Cibulkova and Kerber have built up quite the rivalry over the years, the head-to-head record between the pair heading into this exciting quarter-final match is split at 5 wins apiece. Angelique Kerber has been the form player on tour to start the new year having won all 6 of her matches including 2 impressive wins in Sydney over quality opponents. Kerber will face perhaps her biggest test of the summer thus far when she comes up against the feisty Slovakian on Thursday.

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Dominika Cibulkova has been very impressive this week in Sydney. Cibulkova did not compete last week and arrived in Sydney under pressure to perform well amidst a very tough draw. Cibulkova took down the in-form 8th seeded Anastasija Sevastova in the opening round with a clinical 6-3 6-1 victory. Cibulkova was not as consistent in her 6-4 6-4 second round win over Elena Vesnina but the Slovakian raised her level at the business end of each set to ensure she navigated her way through with a straight set win.

Angelique Kerberโ€™s resurgence continues to gain momentum. Kerber arrived in Sydney in great form having won all 4 of her singles matches in straight sets last week at the Hopman Cup. In Sydney, Kerber has not necessarily been playing as well, certainly not as consistently but she has battled her way to a couple of 3 set wins over very difficult opponents. Kerber started the week in Sydney with a 6-7 7-6 6-2 win over Lucie Safarova, Kerber saved 2 match points in the second set tiebreak. In the second round, Kerber looked down and out after losing 4 consecutive games to drop the opening set. However, the German rallied to claim a 5-7 6-3 6-1 win over the veteran American. Two important wins for Kerber.

As mentioned above, the head-to-head record between the pair is split at 5 win apiece. Kerber has had the better of Cibulkova In recent times having won 5 of their last 6 matches. However, it was Cibulkova who won their most recent match, a 6-3 6-4 victory in the final of the 2016 WTA Finals in Singapore, the biggest win of Cibulkovaโ€™s career.

Elena Vesnina vs Dominika Cibulkova, Sydney R2 Preview

Sydney International ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿฆˆ R2 Preview
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Elena Vesnina vs ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova

Elena Vesnina and Dominika Cibulkova both started their 2018 seasons with commanding first round victories in Sydney. Vesnina cruised past Lara Arruabarrena whilst Cibulkova smashed the 8th seeded Anastasija Sevastova. These two have a long history, the head-to-head record between the pair is level at 4 wins apiece, who will edge ahead in Sydney and reach the quarter-final stage?

Elena Vesnina was originally scheduled to start her season against Shuai Peng in the opening round in Sydney but the Chinese player withdrew prior to their match handing Lara Arruabarrena a lucky loser spot. Vesnina was far too good for the Spaniard, winning 6-2 6-2. Vesninaโ€™s serve was not broken as she won over 80% of points behind her first serve. Vesnina will face a far tougher test when she comes up against Dominika Cibulkova who also rocketed through her opening match in Sydney.

Dominika Cibulkova got her 2018 campaign off the to the perfect start by claiming a commanding 6-3 6-1 win over Anastasija Sevastova. It was a tight opening to the match but Cibulkovaโ€™s relentless hitting from the baseline eventually got the better of the Latvian. Cibulkova was extremely clutch throughout the match, saving all 9 break points she faced.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 4 wins apiece. Cibulkova has had the better of this match-up in recent times having won 3 of their last 4 matches, including a 6-3 6-3 win in their most recent match in St. Petersburg last year. All 4 of Cibulkovaโ€™s wins over Vesnina were on a hard court.

Anastasija Sevastova vs Dominika Cibulkova, Sydney R1 Preview

Sydney International, R1 Preview
(8) ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Anastasija Sevastova vs ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova

Dominika Cibulkova will begin her 2018 season with a difficult test against the 8th seeded Anastasija Sevastova. This is an important match for Cibulkova, she will want to get a few matches under her belt before heading to the Australian Open next week. Sevastova arrives in Sydney in good form having reached the semi-finals at the Brisbane International last week. This is a tough first round match-up between two top 30 players.

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Anastasija Sevastova had a good week in Brisbane but ultimately ended in disappointing fashion. Sevastova cruised through to the semi-finals with straight set wins over Sam Stosur, Sorana Cirstea and Aleksandra Krunic before suffering an upset loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the semi-finals.

Dominika Cibulkovaโ€™s 2017 season was disappointing. The Slovakian will be hoping for a lot better in 2018, the former Australian finalist usually plays good tennis at the start of the year, Cibulkova will need to start strong in Sydney or she will be facing an immediate exit.

The only previous match between the pair took place way back in 2010. A 2-6 6-1 6-2 win for Sevastova in Beijing in 2010. This is an interesting match-up between the crafty, consistent Latvian and the hard-hitting Slovakian. Who will prevail?

Dominika Cibulkova vs Sloane Stephens, U.S Open R2 Preview

US Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿš• R2 Preview + Prediction
(11) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova vs ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens

One of the most exciting second round clashes in New York on Wednesday will see the 11th seeded Dominika Cibulkova take on in-form American Sloane Stephens. Cibulkova and Stephens both arrived in New York in great form, Stephens made the semi-finals in Montreal in Cincinnati whilst Cibulkova made the final in New Haven last week. Stephens holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Cibulkova, their most recent match was an epic in the Acapulco final last year which Stephens won in three gruelingย sets. This should be another exciting clash between Cibulkova and Stephens, two evenly matched opponents.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Daria Gavrilova, New Haven Final Preview

Connecticut Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ† New Haven preview + prediction
Final: (2) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova vs ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Daria Gavrilova

The final match before all attention turns to the U.S Open promises to be an exciting one on Saturday as the second seeded Dominika Cibulkova comes up against Daria Gavrilova in the final of the Connecticut Open. Cibulkova and Gavrilova both claimed super-impressive semi-final victories on Friday evening and head into Saturdayโ€™s final full of confidence. Cibulkova will be aiming for her first title of the year whilst Daria Gavrilova will be fighting for her first ever WTA title. Cibulkova comfortably defeated Gavrilova in straight sets at Wimbledon last year in their only previous match, the New Haven final promises to be a much closer encounter between two feisty competitors.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Elise Mertens, New Haven SF Preview

Connecticut Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿซ New Haven preview + prediction
SF #1: (2) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova vs (Q) ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Elise Mertens

Dominika Cibulkova will be competing in her third semi-final of the year on Friday at the Connecticut Open. Cibulkova will be hoping itโ€™s third time lucky as she aims to reach her first final of the year, standing in her way in Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens. Cibulkova and Mertens have had very different pathways to the semi-finals, Cibulkova has won a pair of tight matches whilst Mertens has already won 5 matches having come through the qualifying draw. This will be the first ever meeting between the pair.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Alize Cornet, New Haven R2 Preview

Connecticut Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿซ New Haven preview + prediction
R2: (2) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova vs ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Alize Cornet

Dominika Cibulkova and Alize Cornet will renew hostilities when they collide at the second round stage of the Connecticut Open on Wednesday evening. This will be the 10th meeting between the pair, matches between these two are usually high quality, fiercely contested encounters. As the second seed Cibulkova received a bye into the second round whilst Alize Cornet booked a meeting with Cibulkova courtesy of a 6-0 6-0 demolition of Yulia Putintseva.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Johanna Konta, Cincinnati R3 Preview

Western & Southern Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ‰ Cincinnati R3 Preview + Prediction
(7) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Johanna Konta vs (11) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova

An exciting third round clash at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday evening sees the 7th seeded Johanna Konta come up against the 11th seeded Dominika Cibulkova. Konta and Cibulkova both cruised through their second round matches in Cincinnati. Konta defeated Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-3 whilst Cibulkova beat Alize Cornet 6-4 6-1. The head-to-head record between the pair is split at one win apiece, both matches took place on hard court last year. The scene is set for a high intensity, close match between two of the toughest competitors on tour with a quarter-final spot up for grabs in Cincinnati.

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