Tour Finals Champion Cibulkova Opens Campaign On Day 4

August 22, 2017 07:48 PM

It’s Day 4 of the Connecticut Open where we mark Autism Awareness Day with a series of adaptive tennis and fitness clinics. For the kids aged 14 and under it is also Superhero & Princess Day where all costumed children will receive a free ticket at the gate when accompanied by a paid adult.

Finally, our No.2 seed Dominika Cibulkova makes her 2017 New Haven debut on Aetna night. The first 1,000 fans will receive a special gift at the gate.

Here’s our pick of the three matches to watch:

[2] Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Alize Cornet (FRA)
Slovak Dominika Cibulkova returns to New Haven for the eighth time where she bids to reach the quarter-finals for a third time. The world No.11 landed the biggest title of her career at last year’s WTA Finals in Singapore where she took down then-No.1 Angelique Kerber for the title. A former Australian Open finalist Cibulkova will meet a familiar foe in France’s Alize Cornet in her opening match on Tuesday night. The pair has clashed nine times already on tour with Cibulkova holding a 6-3 edge, including a straight-sets triumph in Cincinnati last week. Cornet, though, gained the upper hand when they met in Brisbane in January, en route to the final. Cornet also upset New Haven top seed Agnieszka Radwanska to reach the fourth round on home soil at the French Open this year.

[6] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) v Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
It’s a contrast in styles as the heavy-hitting Russian meets the Spaniard with arguably the finest single-handed backhand on tour. Pavlyuchenkova started the seaon on fire, claiming back-to-back titles in Monterrey and Rabat, the latter of which she defeated then No.1 Angelique Kerber for the title. A quarter-final run at the Australian Open made it a complete set of last-eight appearances at the four Grand Slams. Pavlyuchenkova will carry an imposing 7-1 head-to-head ledger into this clash. It has been a season marred by a shoulder injury for former world No.6, Suarez Navarro. It will be her fifth quarter-final showing of the season.

Ana Bogdan (ROM) v Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
In an unlikely battle of the qualifiers it is 2013 Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens and Romanian world No.127 Ana Bogdan bidding for their second quarter-final berth of their season. The 76th-ranked Belgian reached the last eight in Acapulco, while Bogdan reached the semi-finals on home soil in Bucharest. Both women are on a five-match winning streak after their qualifying exploits, with Bogdan coming off a first-round upset of fifth seed Elena Vesnina. She will face a different prospect in Flipkens, with her crafty slices and net charges. It is the pair’s first tour meeting.