In the BNP Paribas WTA Singapore Finals, Dominika Cibulkova put on a clinic to win the biggest title of her career. The 27-year-old Slovakian defeated the No. 1 player in the world, Angelique Kerber, to win what is the equivalent of the fifth major tournament of the year in Singapore. It was a performance for the ages to cap off a remarkable year for Cibulkova.
Storms Through First Set
Cibulkova wasted no time letting Kerber know she was for real. From the opening point of the match, Cibulkova was the better of the two players. She lashed powerful groundstrokes from the baseline to dominate the rallies and leave Kerber grasping for answers. Before the World No. 1 could even blink, she was down a set as Cibulkova dominated the first to win 6-3.
Not Much Better in the Second
As rough as the first set was for Kerber, Cibulkova did not let her come up for air in the second. She continued to pound the German mercilessly from the baseline, attacking any short balls with punishing winners. The unrelenting pressure paid off when she broke Kerber at 3-3 in the second set to continue her march towards the most brilliant victory of her career.
Serve Made the Day
As great as her groundstrokes were, it was Dominika Cibulkova’s serve that really won the match for her. She had a staggering 83 percent first-serve percentage on the day. Kerber’s brilliance lies in her unparalleled return game, and Cibulkova was able to neutralize it with her phenomenal serving.
Only One Hiccup
The only moment of the match where Cibulkova showed any signs of pressure came just at the end. It took her four chances to finally win a match point, and even that took a little luck. On Championship Point No. 4, a Cibulkova forehand clipped the tape and dropped gently over on Kerber’s side to win Cibulkova the biggest victory of her career.
Stunning Result for Dominika Cibulkova
Dominika Cibulkova went 1-2 in the round robin portion of the tournament, and it took a straight sets victory in her last round robin match against Simona Halep to make the semifinals. After a comeback victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semis, Cibulkova was ready to showcase her brilliance to the world in her great victory.
Big Move up the Rankings
This is the end of an extraordinary season for Dominika Cibulkova. She was ranked 66th in the world on February 1st, and now she is ending the year as the No. 5-ranked in the world. She won four titles to lead the WTA. That doubles the amount of titles she has won in career and leaves her with high hopes for 2017. She is also dating Washington Nationals pitching ace Max Scherzer.