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June 25, 2016

Dominika Cibulkova

Eastbourne, England

D. CIBULKOVA/K. Pliskova

7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. You had to fight very hard in both sets, especially the second.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, exactly. It was extremely tough match today. With the conditions and with the wind it was really, really, really tough to play and focus. That's why I was really strong about today that I was -- in the beginning I was a little bit nervous about the wind, so my serve wasn't really working really well.

Then when my coach came, he said, you know, Just focus on your serve. Don't focus too much on the wind. Do the same things when there is no wind.

So, yeah, I was in the rallies and I found my rhythm after a while. You know, I was just feeling really good on the court. I knew what I had to do. I was going for my forehands and was really solid on the backhand.

I was also returning pretty well. So all these things came together, and that's why I won today.

Q. How does it stand in achievements?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: You know, this one is really special one. You know, this is a special title. It's second title of the year. I was never able to win two titles in one year. We're in the half of the season and this is my second one. So it feels just great. It's my first one on the grass.

This tournament, I would say it's the toughest one before the Grand Slam, because, you know, everybody want to play on grass and this is a big one. So, you know, the competition here was really strong. I was able to beat the top players on the grass, so it gives me a lot of confidence.

Q. Was Hantuchova any kind of influence for you?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: No. When I was little, you know, I wasn't the kind of girl who started to play tennis because of somebody else. I had in my room more of the Spice Girls than of the...(laughter) than, you know, an athlete or somebody. So I wouldn't say so.

Q. Which was your favorite Spice Girl?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Geri Halliwell. She was the favorite one.

Q. You're only missing a title on clay and then you have finished all the surfaces.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, I didn't even realize that. Yeah, finals in Madrid. That was a big one. This was the fourth final during this year. You know, it just feels so good, you know. It was really hard after last year when I had my injury, and it was really tough to come back. After all that, I was working really hard. This is the best, you know, like the best feeling I could have.

Q. Did you ever feel when you were injured that you'd ever get to this kind of level, sitting up here with a premier title?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah. Before, I won a premier title, so it was -- I won in Stanford. But to win this kind of tournament on grass, it's something really different and it shows I'm able to play really on every surface. We just changed little details with my coach, and it was really, really working. So, yeah, this, you know, it's good.

Q. It's fair to say you were a very popular champion out there today. How much have you enjoyed playing in front of the fans here at Eastbourne?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, I love to play on centre courts and I love to play in front of the crowd. This crowd here -- you know, I always say that the crowds in England, they are very, very, like nice, really different to all the other crowds, I would say.

It feels great, you know, when I feel that people, they like me and they cheer for me. So it's just -- it gives me extra good feeling.

Q. How relieved are you that you've got a bit of a break and you've got your first match on Tuesday?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, that's good. You have to be kind of lucky, you know, in these things. I was enough lucky that I'm playing on Tuesday. I have really tough opponent playing Mirjana Lucic. I could, you know -- I played her once at Wimbledon. I won. I won 7-5 in the third set in a really, really tough match.

In that year I played my quarterfinal at Wimbledon. So if I pass that, it can be a good Wimbledon for me.

Q. As you said yesterday, with Puig and today again, it's good preparation because you're getting good wins against really hard hitters.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Exactly, yeah. On Tuesday against Lucic it's going to be very similar game, and it all depends also on the conditions. I'm just happy I can go to Wimbledon tonight. We will drive there, and I will have some day off tomorrow. I will practice at Wimbledon on Monday. So I couldn't wish for a better week.

Q. Are you pleased with how you handled the occasion today? It was a big final for you. You stayed focused throughout the whole match.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yes, exactly. You're right. That's what I said. I was able to win because I was really mentally strong that game when I was 4-2 up, me serving in the second set, she had some break points to go for 4-3 and I didn't panic.

You know, I just had my plan and I was going after my plan. That's what got me through if I would, you know, if I would shake a little bit that I could lose that match, because on grass it can go really quickly.

So I stayed really calm. I was just really, really good and strong at that point, yeah.

Q. Does this change your target for Wimbledon?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I don't know. This is the first time I won a tournament before the Grand Slam. But of course after this win -- you know, I never saw myself as such a grass court player, but after this one I can say, Okay, I have beaten Radwanska, Bondarenko, Ostapenko. You know, I really had tough draw. It was only good girls at this tournament. And I managed to win them all. So it's -- yeah, it gives me extra confidence, for sure.

Q. Back next year to defend the title?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, for sure. Of course. Of course I will be back, because many -- like years before I used to play in s-Hertogenbosch. I always choose the smaller tournament before Wimbledon to get more matches because I was never that confident on the grass that I could do well here, because all the girls, almost the top of the girls come here to play.

So, you know, I was able to do it. So I will come back again, for sure (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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