Hobart QF: (Q) Kiki Bertens vs (3) Dominika Cibulkova
Dominika Cibulkova looms as the most dangerous unseeded player heading into next week’s Australian Open. The Slovakian continues to gain momentum heading into her most successful Grand Slam. Dominika has a wonderful chance to reach the semi-finals at the Hobart International on Thursday when she comes up against Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens in the first quarter-final of the day.
Kiki Bertens is having a great week in Hobart, coming through a relatively tough qualifying draw to make a rare quarter-final appearance. Bertens recorded victories over Smitkova, Sakkari and Cepede Royg to advance to the main draw where she has picked up victories over Madison Brengle and Annika Beck. Kiki’s 6-3 6-1 second round victory over Annika Beck in the second round was particularly impressive. Bertens will face her biggest test of the week when she comes up against the 2014 Australian Open runner-up on Thursday afternoon.
Dominika Cibulkova has played some good tennis in Hobart this week. The Slovakian started the week with a very hard-fought 7-6 7-5 victory over Johanna Konta. Domi came from 1-6 down in the first set tiebreaker, winning 7 straight points to steal the opening set. Dominika also came from behind in the second set, overall it was a typically gutsy victory. The Slovakian’s second round victory was far more straightforward, 6-1 6-0 demolition of Kimberly Birrell in just 49 minutes.
Surprisingly, It was Kiki Bertens who won the only previous meetings between the pair, a 7-5 6-4 victory at the Paris indoors in 2013. I suspect we will see a far different results here, Dominika looks very motivated this week and should match-up well here. Bertens has a big game but lacks variety and is the type of opponent that Dominika usually plays very well against.