The first official week of the 2015 tennis season has officially begun and the opening Monday of action will feature an entertaining opening match between top-ranked American youngster Madison Keys and former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova. This marks the third time that these two competitors wil meet on the professional tour, with Keys leading the series 2-0.
The world No. 30 won her first WTA title at Eastbourne ahead of the Wimbledon Championships. She would later reach the third round at SW 19 for the first time in her career. She finished her season with a quarter-final loss to Luksika Kumkhum in Osaka.
During the off season, the American made headlines when she announced that she had joined forces with Lindsay Davenport for the 2015 season. The former champion is expected to accompany Keys to all four Grand Slam events.
“It originally started that Lindsay would help me for the off-season, not so much being my coach, and we both enjoyed it so much she said she was open to doing it full-time. Jon is amazing. He is willing to help and he’ll be in Sydney and in Brisbane I have a hitting partner, Lester Cook, with me. Then Lindsay gets in towards the end of the week before the Australian Open.”
After starting the year in fantastic fashion with a runner-up finish at a Grand Slam final, Dominika Cibulkova was unable to do much with the remainder of her season on the tour. She failed to win more than one title that year and finished the season with a 33-24 record. She also failed to go past the third round of any event since April 2014. Given her poor showings for the better part of the past eight months, it is difficult to understand how Cibulkova has remained in the Top 10 in the rankings.
This marks the third time that Keys and Cibulkova will meet on the professional tour, with the American leading the head-to-head series 2-0. Both those wins took place on hard courts, which gives the big-hitter the advantage on Monday afternoon.
Prediction: Madison Keys in Three Sets