Angelique Kerber vs Dominika Cibulkova in Tour Finals final

Dominika Cibulkova photo

The 2016 WTA Tour Finals will conclude on Sunday as World No. 1 Angelique Kerber goes for a title in Singapore.

There are only two players left at the 2016 WTA Tour Finals. On Saturday Dominika Cibulkova defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in one semifinal. In the latter one World No. 1 Angelique Kerber defeated Agnieszka Radwanska. That sets up a title match between the Slovak and the German, one that represents a career opportunity for each player.

Cibulkova, the 7th seed at the tour finals, has always been around since she first made major headlines back at the 2009 French Open. Now 27 years old, she has played in one Grand Slam final, a loss to Na Li in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. If the Slovak should win the tour finals on Sunday, then it would be the most significant title of her career to date. Furthermore, she would rise up into the top five on tour for the first time in her career (she’s already guaranteed to be No. 6 at least on Monday).

Kerber, who has won two Grand Slams in her career, is not really under pressure to prove that she is capable of winning the big matches on tour. However, she is under pressure as the top-ranked player. Sunday represents an opportunity to break her mild title drought. Furthermore, if she can win the final then she would open up a pretty big lead in the WTA rankings over 2nd ranked Serena Williams. Kerber already has 9080 ranking points on year-to-date totals. With a title in Singapore, she would finish with a tidy 9500 and a 2450-point lead over Serena Williams.

On head-to-heads against Cibulkova, Kerber leads 5-4. The two players played one another days ago in the round robin from Singapore, the German defeating the Slovak en route to a clean sweep in the Red Group. Additional to that result, Kerber has gotten the best of the Pocket Rocket in all matches in recent years. While Cibulkova won all of their early-career matches, Kerber has an active five-match unbeaten streak against her Sunday opponent.

The upcoming final is scheduled to start not before 7:30pm in Singapore (7:30am ET). The previous match on the Order of Play is the women’s doubles final, one that features the teams of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova against Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. The singles event looks like Kerber’s to win, a result that would see her win her first title she gaining top spot on tour.

Shane Lambert