New Haven QF #2: (4) (WC) Lucie Safarova vs Dominika Cibulkova
The second quarter-final in New Haven sees Lucie Safarova come up against Dominika Cibulkova in what promises to be an entertaining encounter. Cibulkova will see this a big opportunity to improve her ranking and gain some much needed momentum ahead of the U.S Open against an opponent she has dominated in the past.
Lucie Safarova has cruised into the quarter-finals in New Haven. Safarova began her campaign with an impressive 6-4 6-3 victory over Daria Gavrilova, avenging her loss to Daria in the first round of the Rogers Cup a couple of week ago. Safarova backed up that victory with a comfortable 6-4 6-3 triumph over Irina-Camelia Begu, Lucie did not face a break point all match and required just one break of serve in each set to get past the Romanian.
Dominika Cibulkova has picked up back-to-back victories this week for the first time since returning from injury in Eastbourne. Domi has been at her fighting best this week, coming through two extremely tight matches. The Slovak advanced past Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round with a 7-6 6-7 6-3 victory before coming from a set down to defeat Kristina Mladenovic 2-6 7-6 7-5.
Cibulkova holds a commanding 4-1 head to head record over Safarova. Domi’s deep central hitting enables her to deny Safarova the angles which she loves. Domi has won both of the previous encounters between the pair on a hard court and won their most recent encounter 7-6 6-4 in Eastbourne earlier this year.
I have to give Cibulkova the edge in this one. This is a good match-up for Cibulkova, she will be confident and determined heading into the match. Domi probably has more to play for this week, it is important for the Slovakian to pick as many victories as possible to raise her current ranking which has slipped all the way down to 58 in the world.