Qatar Total Open, Doha R2 Preview
?? (7) Caroline Garcia vs ?? Dominika Cibulkova
A blockbuster second round clash at the Qatar Total Open on Tuesday evening sees the 7th seeded Caroline Garcia take on a determined Dominika Cibulkova. Garcia and Cibulkova have both had fairly disappointing starts to the year, both will be looking at the Middle Eastern swing as a good opportunity to gain some confidence and momentum against tough opposition.
Caroline Garcia will be in action for the first time this week after the 7th seed received a bye through to the second round. Conversely, Dominika Cibulkova earned her way into the second round in Doha on Monday with a hard-ought 7-6 6-4 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Cibulkova won a lengthy opening set which lasted over an hour, saving a set point in a tense tiebreak. Cibulkova almost squandered a big lead in the second but eventually served out the match at 5-4. It was a confidence boosting win over Cibulkova who arrived in Doha on the back of a bitterly disappointing second round loss to Kristina Mladenovic in St. Petersburg.
Caroline Garcia will be hoping she can rediscover her form of late 2017 over the next few weeks after a poor start to the year. Garcia was beaten in her opening round match in St. Petersburg a few weeks ago by Elena Rybarikova, a result that showcased the Frenchwoman’s vulnerability at the moment.
The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece heading into this match. Cibulkova beat Garcia 0-6 6-3 6-4 on the Madrid clay in 2016 whilst more recently it was Garcia who beat the Slovakian 6-3 7-5 on route to the title in Wuhan last year.