Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulková, will face Spanish qualifier Lara Arruabarrena in the first round of the WTA Dubai Open on Monday, 18th February. The match is scheduled to take place at 7 pm local time (3 pm BST).
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Dominika Cibulková v Lara Arruabarenna Head to Head
The pair have met once before in an opening round match in the French Open at Roland Garros two years ago. On that occasion, Cibulková breezed past her opponent 6-2, 6-1.
Cibulková – Consistent Performer on the WTA Tour
Cilbulková is one of the most consistent performers on the WTA Tour. The winner of 8 senior titles, plus two gained on the ITF Futures tour, she has slipped from her world ranking high of number four to her current position of 26, but she is still a dangerous opponent in any tournament, and not to be underestimated.
She has actually played very little tennis to far this year, losing to Samantha Stosur in the first round in Sydney, and then, as the number 26 seed in Melbourne, knocked out as the first time of asking at the Australian Open, beaten by China’s Shuai Zeng.
Forced to miss her next tournament with injury, she past not played for nearly a month, so will be fresh for Monday’s match but at the same time, rustiness could be a factor.
Arruabarrena – Spanish Wildcard Entrant
26-year-old Spaniard Arraubarrena has been a pro for more than 11 years, but has struggled to make a major impression on the game apart from earning nearly US $3 million in prize money.
She is more than 40 places currently below her career high world ranking of 52, which reflects the fact that it has been more than two years since her last tournament win in the Korea Open in September 2016.
Like many Spanish players she is a clay-court specialist, and the big question is whether she would be able to test a rusty but tough opponent in the form of Cibulkova.
Cibulková v Arruabarrana Predictions & Tips
Cibulková will start as the heavy odds-on favourite with bookmakers pricing her at 5/19, whilst Arruabarrena is on offer at 58/19. Unless Cibulková has failed to fully recover from her recent injury problems, it is hard to see beyond a win for the Slovakian. However, we expect this to be a three-setter – which is 2/1 with bet365 .