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