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October 29, 2016

Dominika Cibulkova

Kallang, Singapore

D. CIBULKOVA/S. Kuznetsova

1-6, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. From two weeks ago having to win a tournament to qualify to where you are now, sum up the emotions and how you're feeling right now.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, it's a lot of positive emotions. You know, I was just extremely happy that I won today. The match wasn't going my way all the time but I managed to win it, even I was down, even she was playing really good tennis, really aggressive.

You know, I find my way to win. Was really, really tough in the ending of the sets, and that's what made me win today. Emotions, you know, I'm in the finals and that's great.

Q. What do you think was the key at 4-2? Stepping up your aggression?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yes, exactly. I started so well. I ended the second set really, really well. I was hitting full power and everything and I was going for it. I knew there is no other way than to go for it. I managed to put the balls in.

I started pretty well the second set. 2-0 up, 30-Love, and I felt like, Okay, this is it. I can break her. She finally missed two returns. I was 30-Love up. I made few mistakes and started to turn around.

Today the match was -- when she gave me one, two easy balls, okay, I took the chance and I was playing better. It was the same the other way around. When I gave her one, two easy balls she took the chance and she pump herself up.

Yeah, that was it.

Q. The first set seemed to get away from you very quickly. Your level was pretty good. What was happening for you in the first set? What did you have to adjust?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, she played bit different, but I knew she was going to be trying to play little bit different. She was much more aggressive. She was going after my second serve.

She was really, really solid during the rallies. She was hitting, hitting the balls much, much faster than I'm used to, so I had to get used to.

My serve wasn't working, and that was the biggest thing, that she was really pushing. She was doing the pressure after my serve, and I knew I have to -- because my percentage was really low and I was going on the second serve and she was doing the pressure from the second serve.

I knew I have to start serving better. I knew I have to be the one be more aggressive on the court, and, you know, to play my game, to be in my forehand and go for my shots.

So, yeah, that was I think the most important. Today I managed to stay in the match even she was playing really, really good and she was overplaying me in the first set.

Q. Were you surprised that Sveta wasn't at the net when the match got over and you had to walk over to her to congratulate her?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I don't know. I wasn't really thinking. I was just so emotional, so happy, and everything. Yeah, I saw her on her bench so I went there to shake hands.

Yeah, sometimes happens. Sometimes you can get upset after the match and that's normal. We are fine, but we are not like best friends on tour, you know. We're fine, but it wasn't like we're going to hug each other. But it was okay.

Q. It's been a very long season and you had to play Linz all the way through to get here, yet you never seem to get tired. How do you do it?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I get tired. I get very tired. My coach, he knows; my husband, he knows even better.

When I get tired I have these modes. Sometimes they go on my nerves much more, but that's our life. The season is really long. This year I play longest season in my career, the most matches I played even during the year.

So my coach, he knows how to motivate me, talk to me. This is the main reason. I think also I'm more matured as a player and I know I have -- I didn't get satisfied this year with any result.


Q. So it's been a big year for you in tennis and off the court getting married. Is that better than all the tennis, or can you even look at it that way?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: If it's better after marriage?

Q. What's more exciting for you, like what you've done on the court or having gotten married?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: It's really hard to tell, you know. Having a great year on the court, you know, finally finding my consistent tennis.

Nothing really much change after the marriage because we were together with my husband for seven years. He travel with me and is my support and is always there for me.

So, you know, it's hard to tell. We had amazing weekend when we got married, but this is also amazing weekend right now. You cannot compare these two things.

It's working well for me this way, and I can wish for more.

Q. Just a little curious what was going through your mind before the third set started when she seemed to be off the court for a very, very long time. You don't need to make any excuses because you won the match, but I wonder if you thought that was fair.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, I have to admit these long breaks are not easy, because this is the toughest part I think in tennis, when you have to sit your mind.

Because you can get so many thoughts during this break, and it depends only on you what thought you take. You can have negative thoughts, positive thoughts, and that's what I manage really, really well. To just think about what I want to do. I knew I'm serving, so I was really focusing where I want to serve, what I want to do.

I needed to pump myself, because that's where I play my best tennis, when I'm really pumped on the court. So that's what I was just telling myself, what I was going to do in the first few points.

Q. Would you ever do that to an opponent? If not, do you think that's an area of the rules that needs to be tightened up, the long, extended bathroom breaks?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I'm not that kind of player that -- I'm not doing these things, because if I need to go change I change and come back and we play. It can get me out of my rhythm. I mean, I don't do that.

But she has her time so she can take her time. This is how it is. This is how are the rules.

Yeah, seems a little bit longer, but I wasn't paying attention to that.

Q. On a lighter note, you said you wouldn't watch the match between Kerber and Keys. Did you really go shopping?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: No. Okay, after the press I had -- I eat here and it was 6-3 and we left the courts. Actually when I was here doing some things and stuff I wasn't really nervous. I wasn't really thinking about what she's playing for. I didn't think about it.

And then when we came into the hotel and I knew she won the first set, I was like, Okay. I realized everything and I was so nervous. I was really, really nervous. But I couldn't watch the live score, the match.

I just stayed in my room and I knew, Okay, if she should win the second set, it's now time. Hopefully somebody is going to send me a massage or something.

But I wasn't checking the live score. Then I started to getting messages like, Congratulations, you are there. We were just jumping and really, really happy.

Q. You said at the beginning of this tournament you were finally starting to feel the consistency it takes to be a top-10 player. Ar the end of the tournament you could potentially be Top 5. Is there a difference for you in that ranking jump?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, I mean, I'm not thinking about the ranking right now. As I said, my coach is big thing in my improvement. He also -- I never saw myself maybe that good or consistent player. He made me believe it. You know, he said -- no, he had examples and I started to believe in myself much more.

Right now if I going to be deeper than top 10, I really believe I belong there. The most important thing, you have to be convinced that, okay, you belong there. Then it works.

Q. Are those the sorts of things he says to you during the coaching timeouts or is it more tactical?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: No, no. No, we don't talk about these things. We talk about more tactically. The coachings are about tactics. He knows me so well. We are together for more than three years. He knows me, how I feel, what are my thoughts. He always come and if I need to pump up, like he needs to cheer me up, he does that.

We mostly talk about tennis and tactic and my mindset on the court.

Q. Who are you cheering for for the second semifinal?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Actually I'm not cheering for anyone. I don't like to choose opponent. I mean, I did it once in my tennis career, and the next day I lost pretty easy. So whoever is going to be in the finals, I just want to play my best tennis in the finals. Even it's Kerber or Radwanska, they are both great players.

It's going to be finals, so I will try to do my best tomorrow.

Q. Could you give your respective thoughts on if it's going to be Angie or if it's going to be Aga?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, so if it's going to be Angie, you know, we played our first match this year here. I lost; it was a great match. I couldn't wish for nothing more than to play against her in the finals and have my revenge in the finals.

Yeah, it will be extremely tough. She is world No. 1 having a great season playing unbelievable well.

So they are both really, really similar kind of tennis. They're offensive. Is it offensive when you run a lot? So they are offensive players.

I play Radwanska four times this year. Three times I won, once I lost on the match points. We always have very, very tough matches. It's tough to say.

Against both opponents I'm I have my confidence and I want to do everything on the court tomorrow.

Q. It's the second time you reach into the final of such a big tournaments. Last time was two years ago in Australian Open. So compare last time. What's the different feeling this time? Thank you.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Grand Slam and Finals of WTA, two different things, but two biggest things, I would say, during the year.

So that time I was new, and playing your first Grand Slam it was really tough - really tough in the finals. I'm happy I have this experience or something like this. For me to go on the finals in Australia, you know, I was trying to do my best but I wasn't convinced I could really win.

With this experience now I'm a different player. Tomorrow I will go there and just want to win.

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