After losing her opening round robin match to the relentless Kerber, it was plucky Dominika Cibulkova who after 1 hour and 16 minutes had her revenge and stormed to victory to seal the WTA Finals title on her tournament debut (Highlights from the Final at bottom of post).
Cibulkova had originally lost to Kerber in the Red Group; the opening match of the tournament. After then going on to lose to Madison Keys in straight sets, her maiden WTA finals events was looking more like Haloween than Fireworks. Dominika’s form began to gather though as she saw off a tough opponent in Simona Halep to sneak through by the skin of her teeth (and one set) into the Semi-Finals. This is where #Hairgate stylist Svetlana Kuznetsova who has been in exceptional form of late was waiting for her, she proved a tough opponent but Cibulkova managed to book her place in the final giving Kuzentsova the chop in the process, coming from a set behind to win 2-1.
Final – Match Stats:
|Dominika Cibulkova||Angelique Kerber|
|48/59 (83%)||First Serve %||29/52 (56%)|
|35/ 49 (71)%||First Serve Points Won||21/29 (72%)|
|7/10 (70%)||Second Serve Points Won||9/23 (39%)|
|3/5 (60%)||Break Points Won||1/4 (25%)|
|64||Total Points Won||47|
In today’s final there was only ever one winner. Cibulkova looked electric on court from the onset, much to the frustration of her opponent who recently became the world number one. Kerber was unable to use her big serve to intimidate the 5”3’ Cibulkova, hitting just 56% of first serves in compared to Cibulkova’s 83%. The Slovakian was quick to get on top of Kerber’s second serve converting three break opportunities whilst saving three of Kerber’s chances. Cibulkova is renowned for her scrappy rallies, chasing balls down and returning more than most, today however she had an air of dominance, hitting deep and powerful groundstrokes, peppering winners against her German opponent who would have banked on being in control on this occasion. Overall it was a delightful display from Cibulkova who will certainly be a lot happier now than she was midweek.
The WTA finals wrap up arguably Cibulkova’s best season yet. The 27-Year old got married this year following on from the Championships at Wimbledon in July where she made the Quarter-Finals and recorded a stunning victory over Agnieszka Radwanska. On top of this she has won three titles in 2016 (Katowice Open, Eastbourne International and Generali Ladies Linz), with today’s performance Cibulkova ends her 2016 season ranked 5th, her highest to date. Be sure to watch this space, do you think Dominika will win a slam in 2017? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter! Now on to Zhuhai where ladies ranked 9-20 will compete for the Elite Trophy.
Final – Match Highlights: