The Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions, i.e. the small WTA Finals, started in Sofia today and home player Tsvetana Pironkova opened up with a loss to Dominika Cibulkova, her seventh straight defeat at the Bulgarian event.
Slovakian second seed Cibulkova arrived to Sofia on a four-match losing streak, but managed to extend her perfect record against Pironkova on hardcourts to 7-0, although today’s was far from a straightforward win. Cibulkova was down in both sets, in the second set even two breaks down, but eventually triumphed 6-3 7-6(6).
Just like at the WTA Finals, players are divided into two groups, named after ancient names of the City of Sofia and its current central districts.
(1) Ekaterina Makarova (Russia No.11)
(3/WC) Flavia Pennetta (Italy No.15)
(6) Alize Cornet (France No.20)
(7) Garbine Muguruza (Spain No.23)
(2) Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia No.2)
(4) Andrea Petkovic (Germany No.17)
(5) Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain No.18)
(8/WC) Tsvetana Pironkova (Bulgaria No.41)
The $750,000 tournament gathers six players who have won at least one International event during the season and who had not participated at the big WTA Finals, plus two wildcards. The tournament’s debut was five years ago in Bali, while this is the last of the three years that the event is taking place in Sofia. (photo: Jimmie48)