?? Internationaux de Strasbourg, ? Final Preview
?? (3) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. ?? (5) Dominika Cibulkova
A fascinating final is set for Saturday in Strasbourg as the third seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova takes on the fifth seeded Dominika Cibulkova. Pavlyuchenkova and Cibulkova entered Strasbourg as two of the most disappointing performers in 2018, both have really struggled to find their best tennis this year. It would be a huge confidence boost for either player to win this title, who will step up and take this chance?
Pavlyuchenkova has cruised through to the final in Strasbourg without dropping a set. The Russian started the event with a 6-0 6-0 crushing of Tatjana Maria before claiming a tight 6-4 6-4 win over Natalia Vikhlyantseva. Pavlyuchenkova produced a solid performance to beat Zarina Diyas 6-4 6-2 in the quarter-finals before taking the opening set over Ashleigh Barty 6-4 at which point the Aussie retired injured, handing Pavlyuchenkova a place in her first final of 2018.
Cibulkova cruised through her first three matches in Strasbourg, beating Chloe Paquet, Reka-Luca Jani and defending champion Samantha Stosur in straight sets. Cibulkova’s big test came at the semi-final stage where she claimed a gutsy 2-6 7-6 6-1 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu. It was a typical Cibulkova comeback, coming from a set and a break down to reach her second final of 2018.
These two are familiar foes, it is Cibulkova who holds a 7-3 record over Pavlyuchenkova. Cibulkova has won 5 of the last 6 matches between the pair and has won the only two matches between the pair on clay.
Signs seemingly point to a Cibulkova win but Pavlyuchenkova will be no pushover.