???? Roland Garros, R1 Prediction
?? (11) Aryna Sabalenka vs. ?? Dominika Cibulkova
The 11th seeded Aryna Sabalenka faces an extremely tough opening round examination against Dominika Cibulkova at Roland Garros. Sabalenka and Cibulkova has both struggled for the majority of 2019, both will see this match as an opportunity to gain a confidence boosting win and hopefully kick-start a strong run in Paris. This is a tough match to call given both are capable of playing amazing tennis but both are also capable of producing a shocker.
I’m leaning towards Cibulkova here. Neither have been particularly impressive of late but I have more faith that Cibulkova will rise to the occasion. Cibulkova has proven herself on the Grand Slam stage over and over whilst Sabalenka has not. Also, I think Cibulkova is far more comfortable on clay, Cibulkova moves well enough on the surface, certainly better than Sabalenka does. Sabalenka’s serve has been a huge issue of late and that will be problematic in this match-up given Cibulkova has one of the best returns of serve on tour. Ultimately I think Cibulkova’s greater variety and defensive ability can expose the weaknesses in the Sabalenka game and will see her through this one.