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February 15, 2017

Dominika Cibulkova

Doha, Qatar

D. CIBULKOVA/A. Pavlyuchenkova

7-5, 2-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's been a rainy tournament, a big contest up for you. How do you feel?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Actually, I felt really, really lucky, that the rain didn't catch me. I think I had good times when I practiced. It never rained. It's, like, it will never rain when I'm on the court. It happened today first time.

It didn't really bother me. I'm happy I finished the match because now if I have to wait, it wouldn't be the best scenario. So I'm happy I was able to finish the match.

When it was 4-1, we had the 10 minutes' break, it helped me actually today to get my thoughts together and my emotions. It was okay for me today.

Q. She's obviously a tough opponent. Walk us through the match. How did you find it in yourself to kind of close it out?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I knew it's going to be a tough one, especially now. She's in a great form. She played quarterfinals in Australian Open. I knew she's the player like this: when she's in good form, it's going to be really tough.

The first set I couldn't find a rhythm on the return. There was not so many rallies. It wasn't good for me. I tried to improve my game and to get into the rallies much more. I was just really fighting for every single ball.

She gave me a small chance to come back in the first set, and I managed to win it.

In the second set I knew I had to change my tactic a little bit because she started to read it a little bit. But I didn't. I just stuck to what I was doing in the first set. That's why I lost the second set.

Before the third set, I said to myself, Okay, now we have to change something if you want to win this. You have to do it 100%, not doubting if I should do it or not.

I was really happy with the way I closed the match and with the way I played in the third set.

Q. In tennis you usually go to sleep knowing who your next opponent is, whereas this tournament, the way things are going, you might find out who you're playing tomorrow.

Q. Does that affect you at all? How do you deal with it?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: It's different, of course. I always try to prepare the night before on my opponents. I watch videos or I watch the matches or something. Now it's going to be a bit different.

But I know both players really well. I played them both. Let's see who's going to win. Hopefully they can finish tonight.

Q. You've obviously established yourself as one of the top players on the WTA Tour. Do you feel like you're close to winning a Grand Slam? Have you been thinking about it?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Of course, when you win Singapore, you're full of these emotions and thoughts and everything, and your confidence is on top. But now it's a bit different story.

The new year was here really fast. I have to adapt to my new position, to be world No. 5. Of course it comes with a different pressure and different things.

I'm really trying to work on myself every single day, to not have this big picture in my head. Of course, I have my goals. But I want to go step by step, match my match. To get that confidence, you need to win a big tournament.

Q. We've all been talking about the weather this week. I'm wondering what is being said in the locker room, what the players are thinking, what the options might be for the tournament?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I think I'm not a good one to ask. I didn't really had a chance today to speak to other players. Of course, for everybody it's not comfortable. It's disturbing. You just cannot finish the match. You are hanging around the whole day. It's really tiring.

But I was lucky to finish my second round today. Sometimes you're lucky, sometimes you're not. I'm happy I was lucky this week so far. Hopefully I going to have opponents still tonight.

Q. I saw something in your match, I don't know how it got past me in the summer, but you sniffing the balls.

Q. I did a bit of research. They got you sniffing different balls during Wimbledon. You did it with great success. Is it something you're conscious of? Is it habit or part of a ritual?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, it was something I was doing since I was little girl. I just sniffing the new balls, just once.

Q. They smell good, don't they?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah. It became some kind of a habit, a ritual I do. There is nothing more about it. It's just part of me, part of my game, part of what I do on the court. There is nothing more behind it.

Q. Do they smell good?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Wilson is fine. Wilson US Open is a good one.

Q. Obviously there's ongoing debate in tennis, or other sports, about equal prize money. While the Grand Slams are onboard, it's not the same case on the regular tour. What are your thoughts on that?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I'm not really involved in these things. I know some girls or the WTA fight for bigger prize money. Of course, I will be happy if we have equal prize money. I'm happy we have equal prize money on the Grand Slams. I think we deserve it, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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