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January 25, 2014

Dominika Cibulkova


L. NA/D. Cibulkova
7‑6, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You stayed so competitive in the first set.  Give us an idea what happened in the second.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Uhm, I was fighting also in the second set, as you can see, but the result is just not the way the match was going, you know.
In first I think I was three games, four games, I was up 30‑Love, I didn't manage to win the game.  After she won first two games, she just, I would say, relaxed.  She was more relaxed and she was going for her shots.
After it was impossible for me to do something and be aggressive because she was just really, really playing well.

Q.  How proud are you of yourself right now?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, you know, I just lost the final, so I need some time.  Maybe tomorrow morning I will be 100% proud of myself.  But now it's just maybe like 50% (laughter).
You know, it was my first Grand Slam finals and I'm just proud with the way I handle it.  You know, I just went on the court.  I wanted to play my best tennis.  It wasn't easy against her because she was playing extremely well.
So I'm quite happy.

Q.  Of the two players, you seemed the least nervous in the first set.  Did you feel that she might have been a little nervous?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  I mean, I didn't realize.  I mean, I was walking on court and I knew she will be the one under more pressure, I would say so, because she was the one that was supposed to win and finally get a title here.
So, yeah, but always when it was tight and she played a big point.

Q.  In the presentation ceremony, you looked very calm.  Was that an act or were you able to think that it was a great moment?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  I was just myself.  You know, it was real long two weeks, very nice two weeks for me.  I mean, the most beautiful.  You know, I don't know, I was just myself out there.

Q.  How do you think your life might change?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  We'll see.  I mean, I don't know.  I'm really looking forward to go back home.  In Slovakia, as I said, it's huge thing, it's really big.  I am happy I represent my country so well.
So, yeah, we'll see.

Q.  On the stand there was Chris Evert.  Li Na, as well.  Do you sense she's a special personality?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  I have to say she's one of the nicest players on tour, you know.  I really like her.  I think everybody likes her sense of humor, you know.  Yeah, she's a great player and a grand champion.
It was nice to be there next to her and to Chrissy.

Q.  What did you feel was the difference between you and Li?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  The difference?  She was the one who was dictating the game, you know.  Today I can only regret that my serve was not really there ‑ maybe because I felt not a little nervous, but my serve wasn't working, you know.
Then she could push me from the first balls, and I was under pressure all the times.  Sometimes I catch myself running one meter behind the baseline.  That's not how I play.
This is why she was better.

Q.  You have Germany in the Fed Cup.  Do you see that as a chance to have a homecoming?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, I think it will be crazy, you know.  Always Fed Cup in Slovakia is a big thing.  Especially now I think it's going to be huge.  I love to play for my country.  I love to play Fed Cup.  So now it's going to be really nice challenge.

Q.  What did you do to prepare for the match today?  How did you spend your day?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Nothing special.  I was in hotel.  We had lunch in hotel.  I was just relaxing in my room.  Not much.
We came here at like 4:00.  I had hit on Rod Laver.  I had two hours before the match to be prepared and get ready everything.

Q.  When you were walking through the corridors, it looked like you were trying to stop yourself from smiling.  How much did you enjoy that moment?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, you know, I really enjoyed it because I wanted to enjoy it from the first moment until the last, you know.  And I felt happy, you know, to walk on the court.  So maybe that's why.

Q.  How much confidence does this give you for the future?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  I would say a lot.  I would say really, really a lot.  When you play a Grand Slam finals, it's not just like that, you know.  It's a big step.  I'm ready to take it, you know.  I was waiting for this for a long time.  Now I want to do 100% to keep it up.

Q.  Do you feel you can win a Grand Slam?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yes, yes, I feel that way.  I'm just 24.  I'm 24 years old and already play in Grand Slam finals.  I feel like my game is there to challenge the biggest names, you know, to beat them, so why not?

Q.  Is it going to be a challenge, Domi, to keep the tennis at this level so you'll be a force at every Grand Slam and WTA event?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yes, of course.  It's of course going to be a challenge.  Of course you cannot play your best tennis every day.  It's not possible.  That's what I was working on:  to be more consistent.
Yeah, this is what the best players are about.

Q.  Does this change your expectation leading into something like Roland Garros?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, of course it's change your way you see.  Now I know I'm 100% sure I can do it, you know.  I get so much confidence from this tournament.
I don't want to see it as a pressure, you know.  I want to keep going like that.  I already did well before at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, so I can play on every surface.

Q.  Chris Evert said she was impressed by your work ethic.  What value did you get from spending time at her academy?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  It was a real lot.  I spend there always four weeks, four and a half weeks, you know.  Is always nice when she comes to see my practice or something like that.  She's a very special person.
But I always put so much into the work, you know, because I need to be fit and I need to practice really a lot to play my best tennis.  And as you could see, it pays off.
I really, really work hard ‑ I would say more than 100%.

Q.  Many great players lose a Grand Slam final before they win one.  How much do you think you learned from this two weeks?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  I learn a lot.  I learn, yeah, of course it will be great to win my first finals of Grand Slam, but I think it takes time, you know.  It's not that easy.
Now I know that it's just another match, you know, in your life.  That's how you have to take it.
When I played my first semifinals of a Grand Slam I just went on the court.  I was 19 years old.  I was just like happy I'm already there and I was not fighting for the finals.  Now I know how is it to play the finals.
I'm not saying it was the same today, but I think you have to go through some things to learn, you know.

Q.  Playing the fourth seed of the tournament, did you get an idea of what you need to do with your own game to get into the top 10?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  No, I wasn't really thinking about that like this.  My game is for sure there.  My game, it's good enough to be there.  So that's what I'm need to be to play like this like more times in the year.

Q.  Have you spoken to your parents yet?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah.  I didn't speak to my mom the whole two weeks and to my dad because we were superstitious.  I won my first round and I didn't call them.  I just text message.
We were text message the whole two weeks.  Now I was on the bike so she called me.  I was like, Oh, mom.  I heard after two weeks.  It was nice.

Q.  What did she say?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  You know, she didn't see the match, of course.  She's never watching.  But she said she's really proud and she asked me how was the match (smiling).

Q.  You're famous for your activities after the finals.  In SanDiego you slid into the water.  In Palo Alto‑‑
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  ‑‑ my dad almost got knocked down by security because he ran on the court.

Q.  What are you going to do here?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  He's not here so nobody's jumping on the court.
I'm sure it's going to be a big celebration when I get back home with the people, and then I will have my private celebration.

Q.  What's the best way to celebrate in Bratislava?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  I will party some.

Q.  Will you make sure your parents are here next year just in case?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  I don't know.  My mom, she always wanted to come here, but then she said it's too far.
My dad's always saying it's too far.  But we'll see.

Q.  Why didn't your parents watch the match?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Because my dad, he's too nervous to watch it.  But he was awake, for sure.  My mom, she always watch the match after when they show it again.

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