Dominika Cibulkova Wins 5th Career Title in Katowice - UBITENNIS
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Dominika Cibulkova Wins 5th Career Title in Katowice

Dominika Cibulkova outplayed Camila Giorgi to claim the title at the Katowice Open. It is the first WTA title in over two years for Cibulkova who will be back in the top 40 starting on next Monday.

Ivan Pasquariello

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She had to wait two years and change surface, but finally Dominika Cibulkova has put an end to her WTA title drought clinching her 5th career crown on Sunday, beating Italian Camila Giorgi in the final of the Katowice Open. The 8th seed was in control of the match all along, as Giorgi suffered from the nerves which tend to control the 24-year-old every time she plays into a final on the tour.

 

Cibulkova started off strong hardly missing a ball and moving Giorgi around to build a 4-0 lead. At 5-2 the Slovakian had her first chance to close the set on her serve, but got broken missing a backhand long with Giorgi placing two stunning forehand clean winner returns cross court in the game.

With another chance to serve to close the set at 5-4, Dominika stayed solid on her forehand, firing two winners in the game and managing to close out the first partial winning by 6 games to 4.

At that point, Giorgi let the match go and hardly put up a fight in the second set. Simply ripping the ball and hardly keeping it on court, the Italian was dominated by Cibulkova, who remained consistent to close the match in her favour.

Dominika won by 6-4 6-0 in just 1 hour and 14 minutes. With the win in Poland, the former Australian Open finalist conquered her 5th WTA crown, the first for her since the title she conquered in Acapulco in 2014. Starting on Monday Dominika – currently ranked at No. 53 – will be back in the top 40 of the rankings, at No. 38.

Visibly happy to end her title drought, Dominika hugged her staff on court:

A finalist in Katowice for the third time in a row, Giorgi finished once again runner-up. The Italian has conquered one title on the WTA tour, last year in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

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Karolina Pliskova hires Sascha Bajin as new coach

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Former world number 1 player Karolina Pliskova has hired German coach Sasha Bajin for the upcoming 2021 season. The Czech player has split up with Daniel Vallverdu. 

 

Under the guidance of Vallverdu Pliskova has not won a single title in 2020 but she reached her second final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, the tournament she won in 2019 beating Johanna Konta. This year she was forced to withdraw from the Rome final against Simona Halep due to an injury problem. 

Pliskova successfully defended her 2019 title in Brisbane and lost to Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova in the third round of the Australian Open and was defeated by Elena Rybakina in the quarter finals in Dubai. She lost to Ons Jabeur in Doha. In her first tournament after the suspension due to the pandemic Pliskova was beaten by Veronika Kudemertova in the second round at the Western and Southern Open in New York. At the US Open Karolina was knocked out by Caroline Garcia in the second round. 

The Czech star lost in the first round in Ostrava after winning the first set. 

Bajin parted his ways with Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska in 2020. The Ukrainian player was not happy after Bajin praised Naomi Osaka, who beat Yastremska at the US Open. 

Pliskova introduced her new coaching team to her fans on Twitter. 

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WTA will change the names of tournament categories

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The WTA will change the names of its tournament categories to be in line with ATP, according to Spanish sports newspaper Marca. 

 

The Premier Mandatory tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing) and Premier 5 tournaments (Doha, Rome, Rogers Cup in Canada, Cincinnati and Wuhan) will shift to 1000s. Premier tournaments will be renamed 500 tournaments under the new system. International events will change to 250 events. $125Ks will be renamed as 125-events. 

Points given to the winners might not be the same as the event level unlike the ATP tournaments. The WTA currently awards 1000 points, 900 points and 470 points.The WTA tournament in Madrid will extend by three days. It will be a 11-day event. 

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Elise Mertens sets up Linz final against her doubles partner Aryna Sabalenka

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Number 2 seed and two-time US Open quarter finalist Elise Mertens came back from one set down in her 2-6 6-1 7-5 win over number 4 Ekaterina Aleksandrova 2-6 6-1 7-5 after 2 hours and 5 minutes to reach the final at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz. Mertens will face Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Barbora Krejikova 7-5 4-6 6-3 in the second semifinal.

 

Mertens reached the Prague Open final, the Western and Southern Open semifinals and the US Open in a successful post-covid season. Aleksandrova beat 2020 Roland Garros Nadia Podorska 6-2 6-1 in the quarter finals. 

The Russian player won the Shenzhen Open and reached the St. Petersburg semifinal. She did not drop a set en route to the semifinals. 

The Belgian player was beaten by Aleksandrova 6-4 6-2 in their only previous clash on grass at the s’Hertogenbosch Open. 

Aleksandrova earned two breaks and served out the first set 6-2 on her first chance. Mertens went up a 4-0 lead with a double break and sealed the second set, when Aleksandrova made a backhand error. Mertens converted her fourth break point in the eighth game to seal the third set, when Aleksandrova made a backhand error. 

Mertens set up a final clash against her doubles partner Aryna Sabalenka, who battled past former Doubles world number 1 Barbora Krejikova 7-5 4-6 6-3. Sabalenka ended the year in the top 10 for the first time in her career. With a win in the final against Mertens Sabalenka would tie Simona Halep for most titles won this year. Sabalenka clinched two WTA titles earlier this season in Doha and Ostrava. The Belarusian player has not dropped a set in her three mathces this week against Jasmine Paolini, Stefanie Voegele and Oceane Dodin. 

Sabalenka and Krejikova traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games of the opening set. Sabalenka sealed the first set 7-5. Sabalenka earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Kreijikova broke back in the third game. The Czech player sealed the second set with a break at love in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4 forcing the match to the third set. Both players saved a break point in the first seven games. Krejikova came back from 0-40 down in the eighth game but Sabalenka converted her fourth break point at deuce to win the third set 6-3 on her first match point. 

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