WTA Indian Wells: Agnieszka Radwanska Comes From Behind To Defeat Dominika Cibulkova
Photo: Billie Weiss/ BNP Paribas Open

Dominika Cibulkova had a comfortable first round victory against Katerina Siniakova, the reward for this was a second round tie against the world number three Agnieszka Radwanska. Radwanska came into the match today with a lead in the head-to-head, with six victories out of nine matches against Cibulkova. She extended that lead with a come from behind victory over the Slovakian.

Radwanska Takes The First Set

Cibulkova got off to a nervy start and found herself facing an early break point. The Slovakian player recovered quickly to save the break point, before going on to hold serve.

Radwanska was the first to gain an advantage in the set. The Polish player found herself with two break point opportunities in the third game, and despite Cibulkova saving one of them she could not do anything about the other. The set was soon back on serve, as Radwanska failed to consolidate the break. Radwanska is known for her defensive ability but this time around she was unable to prevent Cibulkova from breaking straight back and leveling the score in the set.

With the momentum swinging from one player to another, the question was being asked on who could take the momentum and keep it. This question was answered by Radwanska who broke Cibulkova to love in the fifth game of the set, before holding her serve with ease. Cibulkova only managed to add one more game onto the scoreboard, as she held her serve to keep herself within touching distance of the world number three.

Radwanska held to love and quickly put Cibulkova back under pressure on serve, as she needed to win the game to stay in the set. Unfortunately for the Slovakian, Radwanska took her first break and set point and put herself in a commanding position going into the next set.

Cibulkova Bounces Back

The second set started the way the first set ended for Radwanska, as she held to love. Both players then went on to hold serve relatively comfortably, with the first break point opportunities not coming until the fourth game. In this game Cibulkova battled hard to save both break points Radwanska had, keeping the score level in the set.

Radwanska was left ruing her missed opportunities, when Cibulkova broke to love in the very next game. However, the Slovakian's lead did not last long. Cibulkova gifted Radwanska with another two break points, this time around Radwanska did not falter as she took her second break point to put the set back on serve.

Just like in the first set, the players were exchanging breaks of serve, and Cibulkova found herself ahead once again after the seventh game. Radwanska did her best to stop Cibulkova taking two break points, but she could do nothing to prevent Cibulkova from taking the third.

Cibulkova consolidated the break with a comfortable hold of service, where she only dropped one point. At 3-5 down, Radwanska needed to win her service game to stay in the set for a little bit longer. Cibulkova was not in the mood to hang around though, as she raced to a 15-40 lead in the game. Despite Radwanska fighting hard and saving one of the break/set points, Cibulkova ended up winning the game, as she took break/set point at the second time of asking, taking the match to a decisive third set.

Dominika Cibulkova Mid Rally. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Dominika Cibulkova Mid Rally. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Radwanska Battles Back From Match Point Down

The third set started in the worst possible way for Cibulkova, as she got broken to love. Like in the other sets, one break of serve sparked another. Cibulkova bounced straight back and took her first break point opportunity, to level the score once again.

In the third game of the set, Radwanska worked herself another opportunity to break Cibulkova's serve. This time around though, Cibulkova prevented Radwanska from breaking her, before eventually winning the game.

Cibulkova seemed fired up ever since the early break by Radwanska. The Slovakian took the lead in the set as she capitalized on her first opportunity to break Radwanska in the fourth game. Cibulkova then held her service game to put herself 4-1 up.

Agnieszka Radwanska During The Match. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Agnieszka Radwanska During The Match. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

In the sixth game, Cibulkova had another chance to break Radwanska and put herself in a more commanding position in the set. However, Radwanska being the battler that she is, fended of the break point and went on to win the game. This kept her a break behind Cibulkova, and slowed some the momentum of her Slovakian opponent.

Cibulkova served to put herself 5-2 up, and had the chance to take the match in the very next game. The Slovakian could not take this opportunity, and the match went downhill for her from there. Radwanska broke Cibulkova to love in the ninth game, before leveling the score in the set by holding her serve.

From 2-5 and a match point down, Radwanska found herself back in the set and with all of the momentum. Having lost the previous three games in a row, Cibulkova would have been hoping to hold her serve. Radwanska was too strong for the Slovakian though, and she capitalized on her third break point opportunity to break Cibulkova and give herself a chance to serve for the set.

Radwanska did not falter when it came to serving the set out. The Polish player took the match on her first opportunity. After just under 2 hours and 45 minutes, the world number three prevailed over a battling Cibulkova. Radwanska now advances to the third round, where she will play Monica Niculescu.