The string of entertaining matches on the women’s side of the Australian Open draw continues with a contest between a former champion, Victoria Azarenka, and a last year’s runner-up, Dominika Cibulkova. This marks the 10th time that the two will meet on the tour, with Azarenka leading the head to head series 7-2.
Following up on her previous win, Azarenka was able to survive a messy match against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova to defeat the Czech player 6-4, 6-4 and advance to a Monday clash with Cibulkova. The Belarusian hit 12 winners, 32 unforced errors and won 58% of her first service points to finish the match in 1 hour and 46 minutes.
“You know, it’s just another match, another opportunity to improve. You know, I have a different opponent, so it’s kind of difficult to compare the level or the quality because it’s different styles. But I just happy that I managed to go through my matches. There are things that obviously I want to improve. But, you know, it’s a progress. It’s one step closer. So I’m happy I have another opportunity to play Monday.”
In one of the more entertaining matches on Day 6, Dominika Cibulkova saved six set points in the opening frame against Alize Cornet to defeat the French No. 1 7-5, 6-2. She struck 27 winners, 30 unforced errors, and won 57% of her first service points to secure her spot in the fourth round in Melbourne.
After nine previous encounters on the tour, Azarenka and Cibulkova will look to meet once again to determine who will advance to the final eight in Melbourne. Cibulkova won their most recent meeting, although it took pace almost three years ago on clay. Azarenka is undefeated against her on hard court and will look to remain that way en route to the quarter-finals.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka in Three Sets