Moscow R1: Dominika Cibulkova vs (wc) Elena Vesnina
The first main draw match of the 2015 Kremlin Cup sees former champion Dominika Cibulkova take on Russian wild card Elena Vesnina. Given the depleted and tiring field in Moscow, Dominika Cibulkova is certainly one of the main contenders to claim the title this week at the Kremlin Cup. However, Dominika will need to overcome a negative head-to-head record against Vesnina if she is to advance past the first round in Moscow, recent form suggests she should be able to do just that.
Dominika has been gradually building towards her best since returning to the courts midway through the season. The Slovakian has shown glimpses of her best, but has been unable to maintain a high level long enough throughout tournaments. Dominika’s best run came in Toyo where she defeated Ana Ivanovic and Suarez Navarro on route to the the semi-finals, Domi was unable to carry that winning form into Wuhan and Beijing where she suffered disappointing early round exits. After a couple of weeks off, Dominika looks perfectly poised for a deep run in Moscow.
Elena Vesnina’s recent form has been quite horrendous, losing 5 of her last 6 matches. Elena did pick up a surprise straight set victory over Elina Svitolina last week in Tianjin but was unable to back-up the victory as she lost to Jovanovski in the second round. Vesnina can take some confidence into this match, knowing that she has defeated Cibulkova on numerous occasions.
Elena Vesnina holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over the Slovakian, however all three of the Russian’s victories came way back in 2009. Dominika won the most recent encounter between the pair, a 6-0 6-2 win in Moscow in 2011. Dominika should see this event as a great opportunity to win another title, given the recent form of the pair, Dominika should win this match quite comfortably, it would be surprising to see her drop a set.