Moscow: Cibulkova Sets Kanepi Final
Eighth seed Dominika Cibulkova eased through the Kremlin Cup final when the Slovak crashed Elensa Vesnina 6-0, 6-2 to meet Kaia Kanepi in the last term.
Cibulkova, who has not won a title so far this season, took the first lead in half an hour, managing to keep the sheet clean throughout entire opener. More exactly, she broke the crowd favorite three times without giving her opponent build any break point until the end of the round. The two exchanged six breaks in the second term, four of which being taken by the same Slovak who closed the meeting in just over an hour.
The world number 20 Cibulkova has closed the gap in the head to head series with Vesnina 2-3 with Russian’s last win coming from the 2009 Wimbledon Grand Slam. Dominika finished the game with a 50 first serve percentage, three double faults, an impressive 67 return percentage and a 57 service one.
She also converted seven out of eight break points, compared to her opponent who managed just two out of four chances. Vesnina won 52 percent of first serve points, committed four double faults and won 33 percent of service points.
Stated Cibulkova after the big win: “In the first set I wasn’t going for my shots enough on her second serve. It’s not the way to beat a player as good as she is, because she won’t give anything away. The last time we played I beat her by really going for a lot with my forehand. In the second set today I started to do that and that’s how I was able to beat her again today.”
Cibulkova will next meet Kaia Kanepi who edged Lucie Safarova in three sets after losing the first term, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3. Despite the poor start, the Estonian managed to set the pace in the next two terms, breaking her opponent four times. The two exchanged four breaks in the opener which needed a tie break to provide the leader.
Kanepi won four mini breaks but failed to take the first set, allowing her opponent to go 1-0 atop in nearly 45 minutes. The second set showed a different Kanepi who managed to keep the sheet clean on her service and also break her opponent once amid the term. She thus evened the situation, threatening with a much more consistent comeback.
Finally, the decider brought the same Estonian three more breaks as well as a three game lead despite losing a service at one point. Kanepi, who is in front of her best season success, has gone 2-4 in the head to head series with the world number 27 who she previously meet at last term’s Miami event.
Kanepi needed two hours and a half to advance through the last term, finishing the clash with ten aces, a 57 first serve percentage, three double faults, a 61 service percentage, a 43 return one and six out of 18 break point conversions.
On the other side, Safarova had a 59 first serve percentage, hit the same number of aces, committed five double faults and converted three out of seven break points. She also won 57 percent of service points and 39 of return one.
En route to the final, Kanepi had previously ousted Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-1, 6-2 in the quarter finals, seed Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 in the second term and Sara Errani 6-0, 7-5 in the opening day. Her next opponent, Cibulkova ousted top seed Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the best eight term, Klara Zakopalova 7-6, 6-2 in the previous round and Polona Hercog 6-3, 7-6 in the debut.
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