Dominika Cibulkova capped her successful 2016 season by winning the biggest title of her career with a confident 6-3 6-4 victory over world number one Angelique Kerber, the player who entered the title match undefeated and the player who actually helped Cibulkova progress past the round-robin stage of the tournament.
After less than ten minutes of match play, the seventh-seeded Cibulkova raced to a 3-0 lead and even threatened to climb to 4-0. Errors then started creeping into Cibulkova's aggressive and risky game and the top-seeded Kerber won two games in a row. However, the Slovak had her eye on the prize and her courageous tennis proved to be effective, as she soon went up a break again, 4-2, and won the first set 6-3.
The second set went with serve until 3-3, but note that Cibulkova won two straight service games without losing a point! In the seventh game she imposed dominance by breaking Kerber's serve and held on to that advantage to get into the situation to serve for the match 5-4.
On her first match point Cibulkova made her first double fault in the match, on her second match point she sent a forehand a bit long, and after quite a fight and Kerber's opportunities to even the score, Cibulkova deservingly won the match.
Let me remind you, in the Red Group, during the round-robin phase, Cibulkova defeated Simona Halep, but lost to Angelique Kerber and Madison Keys. The fact that Cibulkova won one set in that loss to Kerber kept her chances of progressing into the semifinals alive and as Kerber defeated Keys in two and not three sets, Cibulkova squeezed through. In the semifinals, the Slovak battled past Svetlana Kuznetsova and in Sunday's final eliminated the world's top-ranked player to win the prestigious Billie Jean King trophy.
It was such a joy watching Cibulkova this week, because of her energy, determination, courage, aggressiveness, willingness to risk, all together contributing to highly attractive tennis. On top of all that, Cibulkova looked sporty chic in her Lacoste Fall Racer Dress.
OUR PHOTOS FROM THE FINAL:
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE BNP PARIBAS WTA FINALS SINGAPORE:
- Saturday: WTA Finals semis Kerber vs. Radwanska and Cibulkova vs. Kuznetsova
- Friday: Semifinals are set with the conclusion of the White Group action
- Thursday: Kerber & Cibulkova move into semifinals
- Wednesday: White Group's Kuznetsova punches her ticket for the semifinals
- Tuesday: Kerber & Keys score straight set wins in Singapore
- Monday: White Group action kicks off
- Sunday: Red Group kicks off the WTA Finals + family day event
- Friday: Glamorous draw ceremony