2015 Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview: Serena Williams v Dominika Cibulkova

Dominika Cibulkova

The men stole the show on Sunday, but the women ruled Monday.  Serena Williams and Dominika Cibulkova prevailed in frenetic and fantastic fourth round matches that both went the distance.  Last year’s finalist Cibulkova was first into the quarter-finals hitting a barrage of winners to take out Victoria Azarenka, 6-2 3-6 6-3 in two hours and ten minutes.  Melbourne is obviously a special place for Domi as she produced her best performance for quite sometime.  She had the grit and fire back, which had been sadly lacking from her in the last six months.  Cibulkova was terrific in the first set, coming from 0-2 down to win six straight games and hit a whopping 21 winners.  Azarenka came back in the second set and went up a break in the decider.  Domi though, bludgeoned her way to the victory with a whole lot of pomes and a huge roar at the end.  I haven’t been able to watch the whole match back, but it looked awesome from the highlights.  It’s on the list to catch up with next week…

Video by Australian Open TV

Serena went up against Garbine Muguruza and for a time, looked to be in big trouble again.  Muguruza was unable to keep her high level up and for the second match in a row, survived with a confident third set display.  There was some BRUTAL hitting in this match.  I’ve had a good week of predictions, but day 8 was certainly the day it all came crashing down! I don’t regret going for Garbine and I think she showed enough to suggest that this is going to be a great year for her.  Serena though, continues to taunt me whenever I have the absolute audacity to go against her.

Serena leads the head-to-head with Domi 4-0; three of those matches were finished in straight sets, but their clash in Miami in 2013 did go the distance.  Cibulkova played great for a set and half, but was unable to record the victory.  Serena won the match, 2-6 6-4 6-2.  Cibulkova’s confidence bar has been growing steadily during the week and if she can produce the level of tennis she did against Azarenka then this could be a crackerjack.  Serena keeps finding a way to win and has produced some clinical tennis in the final sets of her matches against Elina Svitolina and Muguruza.  I can’t go against Serena again…

Prediction: S.Williams d. Cibulkova in 3 sets

Monday’s poll results: 40% of readers correctly predicted that Cibulkova would beat Azarenka and 58% correctly predicted that Williams would beat Muguruza.

Photo in this post by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

17 thoughts on “2015 Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview: Serena Williams v Dominika Cibulkova

  1. Cibulkova does have a chance this time. Serena obviously is slower at this stage because of age catching (not sure//sick). Remember the last match, Muguruza has outplayed Serena at the baseline in the first set. Serena most likely will play a lot lobs and volleys. The match can go either way in three sets.

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  2. i feel like Dominika will do it. She is definitively back after one year of i dunno what happened to her but she didn’t won a first round… It’s true she had never been a bother for Serena for the previous games, but tody, it will be different. C’mon Cibu !!!

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      • jade, anyone who saw Domi completely dismantle Azarenka in the first set the other night (6 straight games; 21 winners to 9 unforced errors) wouldn’t under-estimate her. She was very, very impressive in the 3rd set too, against an opponent who wasn’t playing badly at all. Azarenka just got out-gunned and out-fought by a little terrier.

        Of course, Domi’s big task against Serena is to bring that same intensity and try to match that performance. If she can, she’s got a great chance to win because Serena has looked very vulnerable at times during this Slam.

        I’ll say Serena in 3, but it will be close and far from easy for her.

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  3. There is no way Serena is losing this match. She definitely wants to move past Evert and Navratilova, she needs one more major to do that. Serena is definitely the best tennis player WTA has ever seen. Nobody currently has the skill set to beat Serena. If she loses to Cibulkova, that would be a tragedy in my opinion. No way Cibulkova is a better player than Serena. However, if Serena’s mind is somewhere else (which does happen few times every year – losing to Halep 6-2 6-0 last year) then Domi has a chance.
    Also if the Williams sisters do reach the semi finals, I would want Serena to win so she can get the title.
    I would hate it if what happened at Montreal 2014 repeats itself where Serena lost to Venus in the semis and Venus played a terrible final losing to Radwanska.

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  4. I”ll be rooting for Domi, but I can’t see her winning. But then, who had ever predicted that Serena would lose to Cornet thrice last year…so basically, everything can happen. It”ll depend on Serena as always.

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  5. I’m voting for Serena, she doesn’t want Sugarpova to be number 1. That alone would motivate her. A lot of people want her to lose so Sugarpova can be number 1. Pova already making fun of Markarova thinking she has the match on lock.

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  6. “I haven’t been able to watch the whole (Domi-Vika) match back, but it looked awesome from the highlights. It’s on the list to catch up with next week…”

    That’s a must do, James. It was the match of the season so far, by a country mile. Very intense, and very high quality throughout. It wouldn’t surprise me if it made a lot of Top 3 lists at the end of the year.

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  7. Vika still not hitting the ball hard as only her and Serena can. Beginning to get a little suspicious about Vika. When I see Serena I pick Serena.

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  8. As Bob mentions above, “see Serena, pick Serena”. I saw both her and Domi’s 4R matches, though. What I saw was that Domi snatched the match away from Vika. She worked for it and she won it. In Serena’s case, it was a case of the champion finding a way to win in spite of themselves.

    While that is absolutely commendable, it also gives some control of the match to the opponent. Garbiñe did not finish strong. Her botched volley on BP in Serena’s 1st service game defined her 3rd set. On the other hand, Domi produced stunning tennis when under pressure in her 4R.

    I picked against Domi in 4R. I actually had a slight grudge against her for beating my fav Aga ruthlessly last year. But her performance against Vika just blew my mind. If both Serena and Domi reproduce their 4R performance, it is Domi in 3 sets.

    If Serena wants to win she needs to find her baseline game. It was her serve that saved her in the 3rd set last match, and also, Garbiñe’s erratic play. I have full faith that Serena will find her serve when needed but Domi may not give her any margin for errors. If Domi wins today, I am picking her for the title against Maria.

    I am also now a Garbiñe fan. WTA tour is just super exciting currently.

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