Dominika Cibulkova and Evgeniya Rodina are scheduled to face off during first round action at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy. This matchup is just their second meeting, with the first occurring just over a decade ago, in 2005.
What to Expect
Dominika Cibulkova’s 0-1 record in head-to-head results with Evgeniya Rodina does not reflect much history between the two. The only time the players met was over a decade ago, each in their second year playing on the WTA tour. Since then, Cibulkova has seen the most success out of the two.
Dominika Cibulkova: Career Highlights to Date
In 2014, arguably her most successful year on the tour, Cibulkova reached the finals of the Australian Open, becoming the first female Slovak ever to reach the championship round of a Grand Slam. Just two months later, she broke into the top ten for the first time, reaching a career high of number 10 in the world. She has also reached the quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slams. Cibulkova is currently ranked number 66 in the world, as her time off for surgery on her Achilles in 2015 lead to a significant ranking drop. This year, Cibulkova reached the semifinals of the Hobart International, where she fell in three sets to Eugenie Bouchard. In the Australian Open, Cibulkova was dealt a tough first round matchup against Kristina Mladenovic. Unfortunately, she was unable to defend her quarterfinal points from 2015, as she fell to the twenty-eighth seed in straight sets.
Evgeniya Rodina: Career Highlights to Date
Rodina has won four career ITF titles to date, one at the $50,000 level, the other three all at $25,000 level. She has reached only one career $100,000 tournament final, where she was dismissed 7-5, 6-2 by Maria Kirilenko. In the Grand Slams, she has not had the strongest results. Last season, Rodina won her first Grand Slam match at Wimbledon, marking her first career time to have passed the first round. Despite this achievement, Rodina continued to struggle in her matchups against top fifty players, earning just one victory (Kurumi Nara, number 44 in the world).
Unlike in many matchups, these players are not as familiar with each others’ games. However, Rodina will likely have difficulty combatting Cibulkova’s aggressive shot making and consistent level of intensity. Cibulkova is a dangerous opponent when she is winning, but even more dangerous when she is fighting to come back. Even if Rodina is able to pull ahead, she does not have the experience, especially in these larger tournaments, to overcome a player like Cibulkova. With a rocky 2015 season and her surgery behind her, Cibulkova looks to be in terrific shape for a building season. St. Petersburg, with four of the top twenty players in the draw, is an excellent opportunity for Cibulkova to potentially win some important confidence-boosting matches. If she is able to emerge victorious tomorrow, she will face third seed Caroline Wozniacki in the round of 16.
Prediction: Dominika Cibulkova in two sets