(11) Dominika Cibulkova vs (19) Alize Cornet
2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova faces her toughest test at Melbourne Park this week when she faces Alize Cornet in the third round.
Alize Cornet rebounded after a bizarre second set meltdown to defeat Allertova 6-4 6-7 6-2 in the second round. After winning the first set and getting an early break in the second set, Alize seemed to cruising into the third round.
However Alize would suddenly lose the plot, failing to serve out the match twice. The second was decided by a tiebreaker, Alize was a mess, double faulting twice in row to start the tiebreaker. Alize recovered like only Alize can to cruise through the deciding set and set up a third round encounter with last year’s runner-up.
It’s hard to know what exactly went wrong with Alize, she did take a medical timeout late in the second set and seemed distressed, it seems that perhaps the heat got to her.
Dominika Cibulkova has made an extremely positive start to her 2015 Australian Open campaign. After coming from a set down to defeat Kirsten Flipkens, Domi absolutely smashed Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2 6-0 in the second round. Domi is now close to avoiding an enormous rankings drop however another couple of victories are still vitally important for the Slovakian.
Domi has a perfect 3-0 head to head record over Alize Cornet, however each match has been very tight. The only relevant encounter between the two took place in Miami last year, Cibulkova prevailed 7-6 6-4.
I’m still not convinced Domi is back on track, Alize Cornet will provide a strong test for the Slovakian. There is a lot more pressure on Domi to win this match, it certainly won’t be easy.
I actually think Alize will prevail on this occasion, I think she is better prepared and will effectively draw enough errors from Domi to get herself over the line.
Prediction: Alize Cornet to defeat Dominika Cibulkova in three sets