receiving a first round bye.
Last week after losing 6-1, 6-0 in only 58 minutes to the second ranked Vera Zvonereva
of Russia at the Hong Kong Tennis Classic exhibition, Wozniacki had referred to the contest as a “practice match.”
Head to head, Wozniacki had led Cibulkova 5-1 before today’s match and was a heavy favorite to win. Wozniacki is more likely to regard this loss as more than practice with the Australian Open to be played only next week at Melbourne.
The 20 year old Wozniacki, who has never who a grand slam tournament, last year turned in a winning mathematical WTA Tour rankings calculation to end the year atop the singles ranking while the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion and previous number one Serena Williams of the USA nursed a foot injury.
Williams has remained sidelined since winning Wimbledon in the summer and is not expected to make a return before spring.
Wozniacki won six WTA Tour singles tournaments last year but failed to advance past the semifinals of a grand slam tournament. Against elite players such as Williams, her sister Venus Williams and the US Open champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium, Wozniacki is 0-8 lifetime.
In today’s match, Wozniacki was able to prolong her defeat to one hour and forty minutes. But she would finish with winning only 38% of her second serve points.
The 21 year old Cibulkova’s best career result was reaching the semifinals of the 2009 French Open.
Wozniacki has been criticized for topping the WTA Tour rankings before winning a grand slam and for her consistent counterpunching baseline game which some have suggested could use more power.