It wasn’t a match, it was a war…
Dominika Cibulkova defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova, which costed her everything of her talent.
The two players, who have played the most 3-setters this year, were to face each other and this match could obviously not end in only 2 sets. Dominika has played 29 of them, winning 18; Svetlana has played 32 of them, winning 22 of them (stats include the result of today’s match as well).
It was the fierce Russian vs the determined Slovakian. Dominika now leads the head-to-head 6-3. Their penultimate match took place at Wuhan, Dominika won their as well, again in 3 sets. All Svetlana matches have gone the distance this past week. Also, the winner of the match would get the rank number 6.
In the first set, the very first service games of the set were taken by the respective players as Cibulkova served first. In the subsequent game, the Russian broke the serve and went to win 5 consecutive games. They played a few long stretched points, numerous deuces as well. Kuznetsova was on fire, and the exalting lady took the first set, 6-1. While Kuznetsova broke her thrice, Dominika saved herself from being bagelled. Svetlana committed 5 unforced errors and Cibulkova committed 9.
In the second set, the first two service games each were held. At 2-2, when Cibulkova broke her opponent and lead 3-2 and a slight shift in the momentum was observed in this game. Svetlana did the same on Dominika’s serve and levelled it, 3-3. At 3-4, 15-30, Svetlana leading, Cibulkova tried to hit a tweener but was way past the range of it. The service games were again held, setting the score at 4-4. Again, they broke each other on each other’s services, levelling a number up, 5-5.
Dominika was so deeply engrossed into the game that when the players sat to rest after Dominika leading 5-4, she asked the umpire what the score was? To which the umpire replied 5-4, and she said “five-FOUR”. Such quality tennis was produced by both the ladies, those entertaining rallies were a treat to watch, especially when a fellow competitor watches you from the stands; Simona Halep witnessed this match LIVE.
So, after the break, they both broke each other once again, not spoiling the trend they had already set, reaching 6-6, the set was taken by the Slovakian, 7-6(2). Dominika committed 13 unforced errors and Svetlana did 16.
The third set went in a bustle. Though Svetlana committed 14 unforced errors to her opponent’s 9, she fought back like a valorous warrior. Dominika broke her in the very first game of the third set, led 2-0. That is when Kuznetsova again broke back, made it 2-1, made it 2-2 on her serve, broke her back again, led 3-2. At this point, when Cibulkova was a break up at 30-15, the longest rally of the set was played apparently, which ended as Svetlana played a long lob which was called in and the points now stood at 30-30. It was a time for Dominika’s comeback now, she held her serve and trailed, 3-4. She broke back, levelling it up at 4-4. She again held the game, broke her opponent again and took the match away, at 6-4.
The tipsy-turvy match lasted for 2 hours 27 minutes. This match could have been 600th career victory for Svetlana Kuznetsova, which unfortunately couldn’t happen. She has wait for another 2 months to complete this feat.
The AA battle has been won by the German
Angelique Kerber swept Agnieszka Radwanska aside. In a brutal match against the world number 2, she showed and proved it that what makes her number 1. She ousted the defending champion in the semi-final match. Kerber has now levelled up the head-to-head to 6-6. This was their first meeting of the season, and ironically, was amongst the last few of the season.
Radwanska chose to serve and was broken in the first game. She returned the favour, and broke back, standing at 1-1 now. Kerber, after holding the service game, now broke Agnieszka, lead 3-1. Radwanska broke back again, made it 3-2. The next consecutive 3 games were taken by Kerber, and she sealed the set, 6-2. Radwanska netted plenty of Forehands to give a clear advantage to the German, got broken thrice. The set lasted for 40 minutes.
In the second set, Kerber rained Radwanska with her forehands, and plenty of forehands. This set began same as the first, players exchanged the first games. Then, the ruthless German, didn’t look back, broke her opponent time and again and went on win the subsequent 5 games. Though Radwanska took the game to a deuce while at 3-1 and 5-1, but failed to convert them.
Angelique Kerber recorded her 46th hard court victory of the season today, and all the best to the gutsy Angel to make it 47. It will be a repeat of the Day 1 match, against Dominika Cibulkova, as it will be a competition of a member of the red group with a member of the red group, again.