Dominika Cibulkova vs Ekaterina Makarova, Dubai R2 Preview

?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R2 Preview:
?? (3) Dominika Cibulkova vs ?? Ekaterina Makarova

Tuesday’s match of the day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships sees the third seeded Dominika Cibulkova open her tournament against the always-dangerous Ekaterina Makarova. Dominika Cibulkova will head into this match desperate for revenge after she was beaten by Makarova in an agonizingly close three set match at the third round stage of the Australian Open earlier this year. Cibulkova was extremely disappointed after that match, feeling like she should have won it and she will carry those emotions into Tuesday’s clash with the Russian.

Dominika Cibulkova has been unable to consistently play her best tennis in 2017, still yet to rediscover the form that say her end 2017 as the WTA Finals champion and end the season in the top 5 for the first time. Cibulkova has been on the losing end of some very close matches in all three of her recent tournaments. The Slovakian arrives in Dubai on the back of a solid semi-final showing in Doha, Cibulkova claimed wins over Pavlyuchenkova and Stosur before succumbing to eventual champion Karolina Pliskova in a tight third set. It seems like only a matter of time before Cibulkova puts everything together and goes on a big winning streak.

Ekaterina Makarova has generally made a poor start to the year but seems to be playing better tennis in the last couple of weeks. Makarova won both of her singles matches in a Fed Cup tie with Chinese Taipei and stormed through her opening round match in Dubai, defeating Lin Zhu 6-3 6-1 to set up a rematch with Dominika Cibulkova.

Cibulkova holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Makarova, however as noted above it was Makarova who won their most recent match, a hard-fought 6-2 6-7 6-3 win at the Australian Open earlier this year. Makarova was up by a set and a break in that match before Cibulkova came back and seemed to be heading to victory in the third, it was devastating loss for Cibulkova given all the energy put into the comeback.

I suspect a determined Cibulkova will gain revenge here, Cibulkova generally likes this match-up and will no doubt throw all she has at Makarova. When Cibulkova is in that kind of mood, she is hard to stop, probably too much for Makarova to handle.

Prediction: Dominika Cibulkova to defeat Ekaterina Makarova in 3 sets


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