(6) Dominika Cibulkova vs Garbine Muguruza
Defending champion Dominika Cibulkova will open her title defence in Stanford on Tuesday when she comes up against giantkiller Garbine Muguruza. After a fantastic start to the season that saw Domi reach the final in Melbourne, win the title in Acapulco and reach the semi-finals in Miami, the Slovakian had a disappointing clay and grass court season. Garbine Muguruza had a breakthrough week in Paris, defeating Serena Williams before falling to Sharapova in a tight three set match at the quarter-final stage. Muguruza suffered a first round defeat at Wimbledon, going down to Coco Vandeweghe.
Garbine Muguruza defeated Domi 6-4 6-4 in their only previous meeting which took place in s-Hertogenbosch in 2013. Both ladies love to be aggressive from the baseline, I would say Domi is the better mover but Garbine has the stronger serve. I think Domi will rise to the occasion in Stanford this week, starting off with a tough three set win here
Prediction: Dominika Cibulkova to defeat Garbine Muguruza in three sets
(5) Ana Ivanovic vs Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki and Ana Ivanovic will meet for the third time this season on Tuesday in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. At Wimbledon Sabine defeated Ana in three sets 6-3 3-6 6-4 on route to the quarter-finals. Ana won their other match in Stuttgart 6-1 6-3. Apart from yet another deep run at Wimbledon, Sabine has had a disappointing season, struggling to win consecutive matches. Ivanovic has been much more consistent in 2013, winning three titles. Ana has not lost an opening round match all season and has made it to at least the quarter-final stage on 7 occasions.
These two match up against each other quite evenly, however given Lisicki’s disappointing record this season I can’t pick against Ana in this match.
Prediction: Ana Ivanovic to defeat Sabine Lisicki in straight sets