An intriguing first round meeting between sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova and surging Spaniard Garbine Muguruza is set to take place at the Bank of the West Classic on Tuesday afternoon. This is the second time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour with Muguruza leading the head-to-head series 1-0.
Following a strong start to her 2014 season, world No. 12 Dominika Cibulkova had less than expected runs on both clay, as she went 2-3 on the red dirt before moving onto grass, where she also only won two matches. She is coming off a third round exit at the Wimbledon Championships to Lucie Safarova.
On the other hand, Garbine Muguruza had witnessed a surge in her performances on the tour, particularly during the clay court portion of the season, where she made a deep run at the French Open. The Spaniard picked up a staggering upset victory over Serena Williams in the second round and went on a run to the quarter-finals where she was finally stopped by eventual champion Maria Sharapova.
The 21-year-old fell short during the grass court portion of the season, where she lost to Coco Vandeweghe two consecutive times, including the opening round of the Wimbledon Championships. The world No. 28 has a key opportunity to improve her ranking over the coming portion of the season, as she was absent from the tour for the entre 2013 season post-Wimbledon.
This is the second time these two competitors will cross paths on the WTA tour and the first time this season. While their first meeting took place on grass, Muguruza will be more than a match for the Slovakian on the outdoor hard surface.
Prediction: Garbine Muguruza in Three Sets