Former World No.4 Dominika Cibulkova enjoyed a decisive win over French qualifier Chloe Paquet to reach the second round of the Internationaux de Strasbourg.
David Kane
May 21, 2018

STRASBOURG, France - No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova ended Day 2 at the Internationaux de Strasbourg with an emphatic win over qualifier Chloe Paquet to reach the second round.

"It was a first round, and it felt like a first round. It wasn't perfect, but enough for today," she said after the match.

A French Open semifinalist back in 2009, the former BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global champion took a wildcard into Strasbourg following her narrow defeat to Maria Sharapova at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. 

"I came here to play matches because I was off for two months and I need more of those. So far, I can't complain too much."

Taking on Paquet, who battled through qualifying and will feature in the main draw of Roland Garros as a wildcard, the Slovak enjoyed a solid start on Court Patrice Dominguez, winning four of the first five games before the qualifer showed signs of life.

Paquet leveled the opening set and saved three set points in a marathon tenth game before Cibulkova reclaimed the advantage. Racing out to an identical 4-1 lead in the second, the 29-year-old made no mistakes in closing out the 96 minute encounter, clinching victory on her second match point with an impressive forehand winner.

"There's always things to work on, but I'd never played against this opponent, so matches like this are always tricky."

In all, Cibulkova struck 22 winners to Paquet's 17 and converted four of nine break point opportunities to book a second round clash with Hungary's Reka Luca Jani.

"The next round will be another opponent I don't know, so I'll have to get ready for it and be 100% there on the court."

Best known for pushing a young Sloane Stephens to a third set tie-break at the 2011 US Open - the American's maiden Grand Slam main draw victory - Jani won her first WTA main draw match since the 2016 TEB BNP Parbibas Istanbul Cup, defeating Sachia Vickery in straight sets on Monday.