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January 3, 2016

Dominika Cibulkova

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

D. CIBULKOVA/Y. Wickmayer

3-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Gave the Achilles a good work out today.

Q. More than two hours on court.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, it was pretty good for the first match, you know.

Yeah, so it's -- I mean, after my operation last year I had, Achilles is healed. So I have to say I don't have problem to practice even longer than two hours and to go for it.

In my off-season I was working really hard and Achilles was perfect. I don't have any problem with it anymore. It's fine.

Q. Is it a lot about for you building confidence in it, or are you happy that it's fully all right?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, is you know, I mean, it wasn't only about the confidence to have in my Achilles, but I was really suffering a lot from Achilles. Even after long matches like this I wouldn't be able to walk the next morning.

So it was really something that I have to take care of. It wasn't the best timing, but I couldn't really, I mean chose. It was like I had to do it last year.

So now it's no problem for me. I felt even much more comfortable this off-season. I could practice I mean how many times I wanted and I didn't suffer any pain, so it was good.

Q. Good to get back in a match like that. That eighth game I think you could have been down 3-5 and you saved all the break points.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, today I was really, really strong, especially mentally. For the first match it was tough because these first tournaments of the season are always -- you never know what to expect. You practice and you didn't play. You don't play so many matches.

So I'm happy that I won this one. It was really tough. Yanina was playing good. And just the only thing I knew I could do better in the first set and second set was my serve. Just wasn't working as I wanted. The percentage was really low and I just didn't feel the serve.

But then it really helped me the last game though, the most important game, so it was good.

Q. So Domi, the last two months you were practicing. Any changes at all?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I change racquet.

Q. You did?

Q. So what, more powerful?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, actually. I change for Babolat, from Dunlop to Babolat, and I change for the Pure Drive. So I tried all the -- I mean, not all the brand. I tried Head and Wilson and Babolat, and actually, this one, from the first practice I knew this is the right racquet for me.

So I don't need to work.

Q. So that's serving, stroke...
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I don't know how to say in English. The ball just fly from the racquet much easier. Even when I'm on the stretch I can hit the ball and it goes like -- and it goes faster. I don't need to work so much for the speed.

So I'm happy with that. Even I can control it. We were a little bit worried that it's going to be maybe flying all over, but no. It's very good control with the racquet I have.

Q. You had a great two years, Australian Open final. Now that you're totally healthy, what are your expectations or goals for this year?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, was a little bit upset about last year because I started pretty well. I played quarterfinals defending finals, so it's always different feeling when you come to the Grand Slam and you know you have to defend something.

It was my first finals and I did quarterfinals. I played really good there, then I played in Antwerp quarterfinals, and right after I had to go for the operation.

So the beginning was really great. I couldn't ask for more. And then this happened.

So it wasn't easy for me, the end of the year. I didn't play for five months. But now I feel good, ready, so hopefully no injuries coming up and I want to get back.

Q. Do you think top 20 soon is a realistic goal for you again?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, of course it's goal because I feel -- playing-wise I feel really good, and I know I belong there. So it's just I have to get more matches and I don't want to be thinking, Oh, I want to get back there.

I just want to be the court, and if I play well like this, I will be there. It's not like I want to go in the court and thinking about the rankings. So it will come. If you play well, the ranking will come.

Q. The way the draw is worked out, the top quarter of the top half that you're in, obviously had a tough first round and it doesn't get easier. It's stacked with players.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, I never look on the draw where I am. You know, I didn't even know I'm up, and now after the match I ask my coach who I play next.

I just go step by step and we'll see. He told me I play Vinci or Jankovic, so we'll see. It's first tournament of the year. This is where I want to get ready for the Australian Open.

Q. Do you like the fact that players like yourself and Simona, you're fighting back, you're smaller? Do you find that might be the rise of women that -- it's not just going to be the big power game?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, you know, it's of course some players who are taller like Maria or Serena. They have a great serve and they play with a lot of power.

But I think that kind of player like me, Simona, we're showing to the people, to the fans, to the opponents that even when you're not that tall you can beat a top player.

So it's not like tennis is only about the tall girls, you know.

Q. Is there an advantage?

Q. Yeah. You seem to scurry around the court.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, I move well and I feel comfortable moving. I don't need to bend so much like, I don't know, the tall girls.

I suffer with the serve. I have to jump and try to improve my serve different ways. I'm just not that tall to serve like this.

Yeah, you have advantage somewhere but somewhere you have to work harder and try to do better.

Q. You know Serena very, very well. Will you be surprised in she wins three more Grand Slams this year.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I didn't hear the beginning.

Q. You know Serena very well. You played her at the Australian Open.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah. She ruined my dream.

Q. Quarterfinals, I think, something like that?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, quarterfinals.

Q. Can she dominate once again in 2016?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I mean, I don't know. I haven't seen her since US Open. Now she's playing Australian Open right? She doesn't play nothing before.

Q. Hopman Cup.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Oh, Hopman Cup, okay. In this case, she's Serena. She's special. She's legend.

What I know for sure is that I don't want to play her at the Australian Open in early rounds or -- yeah. (Smiling.)

Q. You watched her match at US Open against Vinci?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: No, no, I didn't, because I -- I don't know, when I lose the Grand Slam then I don't follow so much. I just knew she lost and didn't really see it.

Q. What did you think when you heard that result?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I was surprised, but I think there was so much pressure on her. She's human, you know. Since Wimbledon it was like only about her, only about the fourth Grand Slam. It's tough.

We were just talking with my coach today that Novak, he won three Grand Slams too and was in the final of Roland Garros but, he already lost the final of Roland Garros so there was no pressure for fourth Grand Slam.

Q. Can Serena get slower? She's 34 years old?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I don't know, we'll see.

Q. But in general, not many players No. 1 are 34 years old.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I think it's also different for -- I mean, we're different type of player. If I would be 344 and I get a little bit slower then I'm done. That's my something what I really have to be good at to be good.

But she is such a good server and can finish the points in one, two, first two points. So that's much bigger advantage for her. That's why I think she can play longer.

Q. How big a part of your thinking is the Olympics this year?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, you know, it's still pretty far. For me will be third Olympic Games. I have to say that I'm not kind of player that for me Olympics is like the world. You know, for me it's really important to -- I would like to play good on the Grand Slam, and if I play good on the Olympics it's just bonus.

So I prefer to get ready for the Grand Slams. I prefer to play good there.

Q. Are you playing the Olympics or not for sure?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I'm not sure yet.

Q. Yeah.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I mean, I don't know, I'm 38 now. Quarterfinals of Australian Open, but then didn't play nothing until Wimbledon or the US Open, so, you know, still it's far away.

Q. Have you thought about doubles with Daniela or Schmiedlova?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, of course I would like to play doubles, but it's not my priority. If I go there I want to play singles and I want to do good in singles.

But if I am in doubles, yeah, okay, we play.

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