Sunday, October 23, 2011
Playing for the one
In Moscow Cibulkova dropped one set, to top seed Vera Zvonareva and breezed through her quarter final taking down Elena Vesnina 6-0 6-2. While over in Luxemburg out of Niculescu's four matches three have been three set marathons for the Romanian (R1 6-7 7-5 7-6 def Knapp, R2 7-6 3-6 6-1 def Medina Garrigues and SF 7-5 4-6 6-3 def Keothavong)
The final obstacle stopping them from jumping of the first hurdle is Kaia Kanepi and Victoria Azarenka respectively. So as you would expect Cibulkova comes into her final as a slight favourite, based on form and ranking and Niculescu is the huge underdog.
Azarenka leads Niculescu comfortably in their head to head, only dropping one set in three meetings. The last of which was at the 2010 US Open, where the Belarusian prevailed 6-0 5-7 6-1.
Kanepi has a 2-0 head to head advantage over the Slovak, their last meeting was indoors also, in Paris where Kanepi won 6-2 2-6 6-2. Their only other career meeting also went to three sets.