Madison Keys has never lost a match or a set to Dominika Cibulkova but judging by her first round match in Singapore there is a lot that needs to improve if she is going to keep up her winning record against the Slovakian which is why I think Cibulkova might just edge this one.
The court in Singapore is quite slow and this does favour the likes of Kerber, Halep and Cibulkova who are so difficult to break down on the baseline so a slow court just magnifies the difficulty for opponents to get the better of them.
The match between Kerber and Cibulkova was an epic baseline battle and the set Cibulkova won was one of the best performances I had seen all year. She painted the lines whether it was the base or tram lines and as we know can through in the drop shots and come up with incredible points!
I like Madison Keys, I do think she has a strong game but here in Singapore it’s about showing your best and that’s what I want to see and to be honest I don’t think we saw anything near that against Halep who gave away nothing and that is the standard to be one of the very best.
Breaking down Cibulkova will be a challenge and getting on the front-foot will be essential for the American. I want to see more of the tennis where she dictates points and mixes it up pulling Cibulkova off the baseline whether it’s a fierce forehand out wide or a drop shot to keep her moving.
Once Cibulkova gains the momentum it will be tough to battle back and like it was against Halep, once the Romanian had edged ahead you couldn’t see a way back in.
I do think Keys will be better but I just have a feeling Cibulkova will be victorious on Tuesday.