STANFORD, Calif. – Back in January, Agnieszka Radwanska easily routed Dominika Cibulkova 6-0, 6-0 to capture the Apia International Sydney singles title and continue her dominance in the all-time series.
Sunday’s outcome turned out to be much different.
Rallying from an early deficit and overcoming numerous unforced errors throughout the match, Cibulkova notched a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory on Sunday afternoon to claim the 2013 Bank of the West Classic singles crown. Cibulkova, making her sixth straight appearance at the event, secured her third career singles championship and first since winning last year at Carlsbad.
The victory was especially satisfying for Cibulkova, who entered the match 0-4 lifetime against Radwanska, with three of those losses coming in straight sets.
Early on, it looked as if Radwanska would extend her stranglehold, reeling off three games in a row to build a 4-2 lead in the first set. After Cibulkova held serve to make it 4-3, Radwanska produced a hold of her own during a lengthy fifth game and then clinched the set on a service break.
After both players traded games to begin the second set, Cibulkova made her move by winning three consecutive games for a 5-3 advantage. Radwanska then held serve and trimmed the lead to 5-4 but Cibulkova answered with a hold and booked the set 6-4.
Radwanska owned leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in the deciding frame before Cibulkova staged her final rally. Mixing in crafty drop shots and powerful backhands, Cibulkova won the next four games, becoming the first Bank of the West Classic champion since Kim Clijsters (2003) to capture the hardware after losing the first set.
The serving of both players proved to be a factor in the match, as Cibulkova made up for eight double faults by routinely capitalizing on Radwanska’s second serves.
Sunday’s match lasted two hours and 30 minutes, with Cibulkova becoming the first Slovakian player to win at Stanford. Cibulkova is projected to rise to No. 21 in the WTA rankings while Radwanska, who was seeking her 13th career singles title and third in 2013, will likely remain at No. 4.
ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is one of the oldest women-only professional tennis tournaments in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. A WTA Premier event, the Bank of the West Classic features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $740,000. Held on Stanford University’s campus at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include: Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams. The Bank of the West Classic is owned and operated by IMG.
ABOUT BANK OF THE WEST: Founded in 1874, $62.4 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.
ABOUT IMG: IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.