Cibulkova vs. Kerber
|Date & Time||Sunday October 23, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
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Angelique Kerber and Dominika Cibulkova meet in the first match of the tennis 2016 WTA Championships.
Angelique Kerber hopes to solidify her top spot in the world with a title here, and this will be her fourth appearance in the WTA Finals. Kerber has obviously had the best year of andybody, as she won two grand slam finals, took Serena Williams’ No. 1 ranking and made seven final appearances overall. Kerber enters this match in a little shaky form after quicker exits than usual in Benign ad Hong Kong, but the extra rest should benefit her in the long run for this tournament. As long as Kerber is serving well and being as aggressive as she has all season, she should like her chances to make it out of the group stages of the WTA Finals for the first time in her career. Kerber has won 10 of her last 13 matches on hard court.
Dominika Cibulkova is playing in the WTA Championships for the first time in her career and has a chance to really put herself in the ground of the top players in the world. Cibulkova has always had the talent and the feistiness, it was just a question of consistency and getting over that hump. Few bring the passion and aggressiveness that Cibulkova brings to the tennis court and it can sometimes be intimidating for her opponent. Cibulkova is a pitbull who won’t go down easily and is kind of entering this tournament with nothing to lose. If Cibulkova can control her unforced errors, she’s a dark horse to make a deep run in the WTA Finals. Cibulkova has five wins over top-10 players this season and 30 overall. Cibulkova has won six of her last nine matches on hard court.
These two have split their previous eight meetings. The most recent match was in Bejining in 2015, a match Kerber won in straight sets. Kerber has won the last four meetings against Cibulkova, and her last loss came in the 2013 Canadian Masters.
Cibulkova is a player to watch this tournament given her fight, but you can’t ignore the fact she’s lost four straight matches against Kerber. The world's number one has been the most consistent player all season and should be able to get the job done here with a convincing victory to start things off.