Indian Wells R1: Dominika Cibulkova vs (Q) Katerina Siniakova
Dominika Cibulkova is one of the most dangerous unseeded players in the draw at the 2016 BNP Paribas Open. The Slovakian arrives in California is good form after a run to the final in Acapulco a couple of weeks ago. Cibulkova faces Czech qualifier Katerina Siniakova in her opening match of the tournament on Wednesday afternoon. The winner of this mat h will face the third seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.
Cibulkova continues to show signs of improvement after a poor Australian summer. Dominika reached the final at Acapulco where she was on the losing end of a 3-hour epic against Sloane Stephens in what was the greatest final of the season thus far. However, Cibulkova was unable to keep her run going in Monterrey, suffering a straight set loss Anett Kontaveit in her opening match of the event (perhaps suffering physically from a long week in Acapulco). Interestingly, Dominika doesn’t have any points to defend from now until Eastbourne, meaning that the Slovakian has a great chance to dramatically improve her current ranking of number 57 in the world. Cibulkova is a former quarter-finalist in the Californian desert, reaching the final 8 in 2014.
Katerina Siniakova stormed through the qualifying draw at the BNP Paribas Open over the past couple of days. The Czech dropped a total of 6 games on route to recording straight set wins over Raveena Kingsley and Julia Boserup. The problem for Siniakova is that she has not won a main draw match since Shenzhen (the only tournament that she has recorded main draw victories this season).
This will be the first career meeting between the pair. I highly doubt that Siniakova has the confidence or the composure that is required to truly test a determined Cibulkova on this occasion. I do expect this to be a competitive match though, Siniakova certainly has potential and has the advantage of coming through qualifying and therefore already playing a couple of matches to get used to the conditions. Ultimately, Dominika should be too good and should set up a blockbuster second round clash with Agnieszka Radwanska.