??? Miami Open, R1 Preview
?? Victoria Azarenka vs. ?? Dominika Cibulkova
Victoria Azarenka and Dominika Cibulkova will go head-to-head in the pick of the opening round matches at the 2019 Miami Open. Azarenka and Cibulkova are both ranked well below their best at the moment for a variety of reasons and will see this opening round match-up as a great opportunity to gain much needed momentum as the season heats up.
Azarenka has shown signs of a form reversal in recent times. The former world number 1 made a solid run to the Acapulco quarter-finals last month before contesting an epic second round match with Serena Williams in Indian Wells a few weeks ago. Though Azarenka lost out to Williams in straight sets, the match was certainly a step in the right direction for Azarenka given she arguably played the best tennis we have seen from her in the last couple of years in what was one of the best matches of the season thus far.
2019 has been a real struggle for Cibulkova. The Slovakian has won just 1 match this year and desperately needs to turn things around as soon as possible. To be fair, Cibulkova has been dealt some brutal draws this year, just as she has in Miami with this first round clash against Azarenka. Cibulkova arrives in Miami on the back of an opening round exit in Indian Wells where she was comfortably beaten by the eventual champion Bianca Andreescu in straight sets.
Azarenka and Cibulkova are familiar foes, however they haven’t gone head-to-head much in recent times. Azarenka holds a 7-3 record over Cibulkova, but it was Cibulkova who won their last couple of matches, including a 6-2 3-6 6-3 win at the Australian Open in 2015 in their most recent meeting.