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October 27, 2016

Dominika Cibulkova

Kallang, Singapore


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Describe how you feel right now.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: You know, this win is really, really big for me. Really big for me. I feel relieved. I'm really, really happy about my win, about the way I played and the way I handled the situation and the pressure.

It seems like I'm playing my best tennis under biggest pressure. You know, it's just a great feeling, you know, to beat Simona in two sets knowing that if I want to go further in the tournament I have to beat her in two sets. That made me even stronger in the second set.

It's great.

Q. You've been talking all season about how important was the work with the mental coach. How much of it was key for you today knowing that she's having a little problems with the legs but still fighting a lot?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: You know, I didn't realize she has some problem because she was running really well. She was running after everything.

So I wasn't even thinking about her. Few times in the second set I had -- there was few times I was like, Okay, this can't be happening. Like I was playing such a good rallies, and then somehow she put the ball back again. So there were few situations I was like, Okay, I want to leave the court. This is unreal.

That's what made me so strong also, the mental toughness, that I knew I cannot lose even one point. I have to just think about what I want to do the next point. That's what made me win the second set. It was extremely tough mentally and physically, but tennis-wise because it was such a high level of tennis.

Q. You made your part; you knew you had to win in two. Now you know it's not in your hands anymore. Will you be watching the match? And if so, where and how?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I don't know if I'll be watching the match. Probably I will checking the score, but that's worst thing you can do. We'll see. I don't know.

I really don't know. I don't know. Maybe we're going to go shopping to just forget it and see the result. We'll see. I don't know.

Q. If Angie gets the job done and you qualify alongside her, what will you buy her as a thank you?

Q. Is there anything you do know?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I don't have anything that I would like that I would really want this. It would mean a lot to me. It just feels really, really good after this win today, because to stay in the match, it give me a lot of confidence.

Q. You were in such great rhythm today. Do you feel like it took you the three matches to get used to the surface?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I would say that finally I won the match, that I played well. Against Angie I played also well but I lost it. Today I feel like, Okay, finally I won that match. I was playing good. It could go other way very quickly. I just managed to win it.

Yeah, today I had the great rhythm. Even from the warmup I was feeling just really fresh and really wanting to go out there, even from to the first thing in the morning. I told, Okay, today I want to win in two sets. I was doing everything for it.

You cannot compare Madison Keys' tennis against Kerber or Halep because she has that kind of tennis that's for me tough to play. I'm not saying I cannot beat her, but it's much tougher for me to play against her. I cannot find my rhythm.

These are two players I really feel confident to go into the match.

Q. At 4-All there was a point you wanted to challenge but you had no challenges left. On the topic of mental toughness, how did you not let that affect your mind and game plan?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. The pressure of me winning in two sets, that's what made me like, Okay, breathe and just forget it. Because I saw the ball was in. I think I have a good eye. I knew it was in.

Maybe different match, different time, it would make me go crazy and I could lose two, three points likes this and the set would be over. I knew I cannot do this right now. I just have to refocus. This is what I'm talking about, the mental strength I had today.

Q. You sat there two days ago, and I could be wrong, but seemed like you didn't knew that you could still potentially qualify after losing the first two matches and now you might; is that true, though, that you didn't know two days ago that you might still be able to qualify?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: What do you mean? After my loss against Kerber?

Q. Yeah. Or did you still know there is a possibility you might...
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: No, of course I knew there is a possibility, but at the time I was upset about my loss against Kerber because I was really close. I didn't see this way.

Now it was just, Okay, it's now or -- I don't want to say now or never -- but it's either I lose or I win. I knew I have to win in two sets to really stay in the tournament.

You know, I can compare it to when I was coming to Linz and I knew only counts finals or winning the tournament. That was my goal. That's what I wanted to do from the beginning of the tournament.

Today going to this match helped me also to knew that, Okay, I have to win in to sets. Maybe when I have this mindset I can play even better.

Q. You only just got married a few months ago, but you've been with your fiancee for so many years. How important has he been to you, to your circle, to your team?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, he's really important. He's there for me. Sometimes when there are tough, tough times he can make me see the other way. You know, he always Says, Okay, the life is not that bad, you know.

He can make me sometimes be more relaxed. Even if I lose a match, you know, he can make me see different things. That's what really helps me. So there are so many things that he's helping me with, but this is one of them.

He's really one of the biggest positive energy in our team.

Q. You don't always get the chance to finish your last match of the season with win. To the extent that is the case, how do you look back on the win and your season and all that?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: This happened to me in Moscow when I won my first title. I finished the season with winning the match. It was great feeling. I won a tournament.

Here is different story. This match really, I was so, so pumped, so happy after the win that, you know -- I don't know. It just feels good. Of course I would like to go in the semifinals.

I couldn't do better today. That's what I did.

Q. Fingers crossed for you that you get to the semifinals. If you have to finish your season here, how will you be spending next couple weeks or months?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Actually, I was -- no, I was like, Okay if I lose today, tomorrow we fly for holidays. So we booked -- no, we didn't book the flight, but it was like, Okay, if I lose today we fly tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to holidays.

So I just give everything into this match today. I knew it could be possibly the last. All the circumstances made me play really well today.

I just find out I cannot fly tomorrow because if I stay third then I have to stay here as alternate to wait for the girls. But I hope to stay second in the group.


Q. Before the tournament you said your parents are both here. It's rare for them both to be in your box at the same time. What's it been like kind of playing in front of them and looking over? Has it been cool? Have they been stressing out?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, my father today after my win he jumped down and again the security took him away. He's a little bit emotional. You can see me on the court. I get emotions. Maybe probably it's from him I get these emotions.

Do you remember Stanford when he jumped down on the court? Yeah, today he didn't get on the court but he jumped down from the fans.

Mostly I'm looking in my box. My coach, they are more calm. But I'm happy my parents are here with me and they can see me playing a great tennis in Masters in Singapore. When I was starting playing tennis it was never, never in our dreams to be here.

So I'm happy they are here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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