Cibulkova Wins First Term Title In Moscow
World number 17 Dominika Cibulkova has won her first WTA title when the Slovak edged Kaia Kanepi in a three set epic in the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Cibulkova overcame the Estonian after surviving an early scare, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, needing two hours and a half to hoist the Cup. Cibulkova lost a service in the opener, which allowed Kanepi go three games atop and pick half of a potential victory. The Estonian also saved three break points en route to the first set lead and was denied three other chances to break.
The second set saw Cibulkova fight back and snatch the leveler after a very tight term during which the two held their services consistently. But the tie break was dominated by the Slovak who crashed her opponent 7-1 to push the meeting further into a third set decider.
Finally, the last round saw the two exchange five breaks, three of which taken by the same Cibulkova who managed to set the pace and take the victory thanks to a late one. She thus hindered the world number 34 of taking her second ever title.
The head to head series between the two has now gone 2-2 with Kanepi’s last win coming from this term’s Paris event. Cibulkova finished the game with a 66 first serve percentage, three double faults and a 65 service percentage. She also won 39 percent o return points and converted three out of nine break points.
On the other side, Kanepi came up with ten aces, five double faults, a poor 35 return percentage, three breaks and a 61 service percentage.
Said Cibulkova after the success: “It was good for me she missed that shot. She was hitting high balls to my backhand to get me out of my rhythm and I was playing too defensive in the beginning, but later in the second set I started to really go for my forehand again. I had nothing to lose.”
En route to the final, the Slovak had ousted Elena Vesnina 6-0, 6-2 in the semis, top seed Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the best eight term, Klara Zakopalova 7-6, 6-2 in the second term and Polona Hercog 6-3, 7-6 in the first round.
Kanepi’s route included a 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 win against Lucie Safarova whom she ousted in the semi final, a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarters and a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 one against seed Francesca Schiavone. She made her debut with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Sara Errani.
Cibulkova is to receive a $118,500 check and 470 points WTA, while Kanepi will bank $64,300 and 320 points WTA.
Moscow Prize Money and points:
Winner – $118,500 and 470 points WTA
Runner up – $64,300 and 320 points WTA
Semi finalist – $34,700 and 200 points WTA
Quarter finalist – $18,600 and 120 points WTA
Second round – $10,050 and 60 points WTA
First round – $5,550 and one point WTA11