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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Cibulkova has the power to blow away Johanna Larsson

Dubai reigning champ Elina Svitolina is Kerber's test

Dominika Cibulkova faces Johanna Larsson in Hungary
1 of 1

WTA Dubai Championships
BT Sport 1, 1pm Friday

Dominika Cibulkova has slipped down the WTA rankings but the diminutive Slovakian is a better player than a ranking of 33rd suggests and she should be backed to ease past Johanna Larsson in the quarter-finals of the WTA Hungarian Open. 

Cibulkova is 4-0 against Larsson, all on hard courts, and that's despite the Swede winning the opening set in each of those meetings.

But Larsson was playing better tennis when they last met two years ago and Cibulkova was still capable of coming from behind to blow away her opponent.

Two straight-sets victories in the opening rounds will have encouraged Cibulkova, who is enjoying the indoor conditions in Budapest. She's the stronger player and should be able to win comfortably so take 8-11 about her overcoming a 3.5-game handicap.

Angelique Kerber has rediscovered her best form this season but the German two-time Grand Slam champion faces a tough test in when she takes on reigning champion Elina Svitolina in the semi-finals of the WTA Dubai Championships.

Kerber dismissed Karolina Pliskova in straight sets on Thursday but Svitolina was equally impressive in dismantling Naomi Osaka and the early money has been for the Ukrainian world number four.

Recommendation
D Cibulkova -3.5 games
3pts 8-11 Hills


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Two straight-sets victories in the opening rounds will have encouraged Cibulkova, who is enjoying the indoor conditions in Budapest
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