Feb. 27, 2016
In what could be the best female singles match in Acapulco’s history American tennis player Sloane Stephens (24 WTA) claimed the crown this Abierto Mexicano de Tenis 23rd edition. In a heart-rising duel that lasted more than three hours Stephens beat Cibulkova who wished to repeat her triumph from two years ago.
It was a thrilling and closed match, full of breakpoints where Sloane took advantage of Cibulkova’s errors during third set’s tiebreaks. Marks were 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5) in 22 year-old Stephen’s favor who is attaining her second title during this season after wining Auckland at the beginning of the year.
With a divided audience, most on Cibulkova’s side, both players worked really hard to maintain each other’s serve and both made many errors, nevertheless, Florida-born Sloane worked best under pressure during the last set and landed her third title in the WTA circuit.
The first set lasted 49 minutes and was a constant back and forth where Stephens lead; Cibulkova was fierce, reacted and battled strong to reverse the marks during the second set. Third set was a power-duel with both players pushing hard and racing from side to side just like the scoreboard seeking for the victory. With just one break per side it was sudden death that made the Slovakian player hand the crown.
On her way to the Title Stephens defeated Louisa Chirico during first round, Belorussian Olga Govortsova in third round, Naomi Osaka in quarter-finals, Belgian player Yanina Witchmayer in semi-final and Dominika Cibulkova during final round.
Meanwhile, Cibulkova suffered her first defeat in 10 matches at the Mexican Open, and was left with the desire to become bi-champion of Acapulco’s tournament and score her fifth professional title.