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January 22, 2014

Dominika Cibulkova


6‑3, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How pleased are you to be able to back up such a good victory against Sharapova?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Of course I'm really glad with the way I played, especially with the way I handled it mentally.  It was a big win against Maria.
But I wasn't favorite in this match again against Halep, you know.
I walked on the court with the confident that I can do it again today.  I was so focusing what I have to do, to do the right things.  That was all what I wanted to do, and of course enjoy my tennis again.

Q.  Your opponent, she said she didn't really feel like she was mentally ready for the occasion.  Did you feel the difference out there today?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, I think it was also very important today because I already was on the stage.  I already played couple quarterfinals in the Grand Slam.  I already did semifinals in a Grand Slam.
So that was my experience today.  I was ready for it.  It was for me like every other match.  So I didn't take it too much, you know, like too serious, so I put myself under pressure.
Yeah, I think also in this I was better today.

Q.  Your other Grand Slam semifinal appearances, how are you a different player now?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  That time I was 19 years old.  I was pretty young.  I would say also a different player.  You know, I am much more experienced.
I went through so many things also already in my career.  I would say more mature, yeah.

Q.  You mentioned not being favored.  Your record against Agnieszka or Victoria says you won't be favored in the semis.  Do you like that?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, I mean, of course it's less pressure, even if it's not less pressure, you know, to play against big names.
But now, you know, it's quarterfinals, semifinals.  In the end of the second week of the Grand Slam.  Nothing is easy.  There is pressure you can feel from everywhere.
So, you know, I still want to do the same thing what I came into the tournament.  I want to really enjoy it.  I want to play my tennis.  That's when I play my best.

Q.  You've had tough losses and big wins against both of them.  How does that affect you going into this match?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  You know, I already beat both of them.  It's going to be very tough, for sure.  Both opponents are big fighters and a great player.
It just gives me enough confidence, you know, to go into this match and to know that I beat both of them.  I know what I have to do.  We know each other really well.  We are the same age.  We played so many times each other.
For sure it's going to be really, really tough match.

Q.  You played a really good match today.  Was it your intention to go out and be so aggressive from the start?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, of course.  It was something we were talking about with my coach.  I know how is Simona playing.  She's running a lot of, giving a lot of balls back.  I knew I have to be aggressive enough.
But sometimes it's not easy because sometimes when you go for too much, it's too many mistakes.  I knew I had to step into the court and play a lot to her weaknesses, use my backhand down the line that she was not expecting, to play some unexpectable shots.
Reads the game very well.  Even if you play well, you play fast, she's there at the ball.

Q.  Isn't that the same thing when you play Vika or Agnieszka, you have to bring something unexpected?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  If you play against the best players, you cannot do the same things all the time.  They know if you serve T and you give them two aces, so she's going to stand there next time.
You have to change sometimes the tactic.  When you go for the winner, I cannot go into the same spot, you know.
Yeah, today I bring up my backhand down the line.  I was playing from the first balls.  It's something little bit new in my game.

Q.  How have you learned to put big losses behind you?  If you look at your rivalries with both of them, how do you put those behind you and move on?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  That's something of course that is not easy, because if you have such a bad loss against somebody, you know, you come into this match, you know what happened in the past and you cannot forget it.
You just have to, you know, go against it, you know, to be stronger than what happened before.  So Wawrinka, he beat Djokovic last night.  There was something also what happened to me in the past.

Q.  How important was your win in California at Stanford in terms of your confidence in your game?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Last year, it wasn't the best year I could tell.  But especially that week, it was the best week, I would say, of the year.  I needed something like that.
I knew my game is good, but I just didn't show it on the matches and on the court.  So that week was really something that year I needed to hold on.

Q.  Equaling your best appearance today, best result at a Grand Slam, do you try and embrace the vibe around the park in terms of the pressure placed on you in a semifinal?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, I mean, in the semifinals, still enjoying the moment that I beat Simona like one hour ago, so I cannot tell.
We're going to play tomorrow.  As I said, you know, I don't want to play different tennis than what I came here for this tournament.  I was playing aggressive.  I was playing free.  I really enjoy my time on the court, you know.
That's what I want to do.  If I put pressure I play nervous, and that's not what I want to do.

Q.  You've had big slam runs before.  You've made quarters at all four slams.  You haven't been top 10 yet, which is unusual.  Why do you think you've had these big results but not the consistency?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, that was the thing, the consistency.  I could beat big player and then to lose to not such a good ranked players.  That's what we were trying to work on with my coach, also to be able to play under this pressure that I have to beat this player, so I'm going to beat her.
This is something what we really work on.  We work on my mental thing.  Everything keeps getting together, yeah.

Q.  What are the good things and maybe the not‑so‑good things about coming from Slovakia?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  What do you mean?

Q.  About your home country.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  We are really small country.  We are just five million people.  I really love to play for my country.  I think the people are really so proud that the rest of the world will now know we're from Slovakia, not Slovenia.
Otherwise it's not such a big difference.

Q.  You were watching the match last night?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yeah, I did, but I have to turn it off 4‑All in the fifth set because I know I have to go to sleep early and I knew I was going to keep watching.  It was 4‑All.  I said to my boyfriend, Just turn it off; I cannot watch it anymore.

Q.  Did you find yourself pulling for Stan because he was the underdog?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Yes.  I don't know if I can tell you like this, but I was cheering for him.  I know what does it mean to lose such a match like he lost last year.  I never play on five sets, but I lost matches like this before.  I know what does it mean to be on the same spot against same player.
You just want to prove it to yourself that you can do it, and that's what he did it.

Q.  Did we interrupt you watching Aga/Vika?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  No, I was doing my recovery, my stretching.  I watched a little bit.  But basically I know them really well.  My coach is watching.

Q.  What are your preferences for the semifinal, which player?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  I never say who I prefer to play because then sometimes it doesn't need to turn up well.
Who's going to win, that's going to be my opponent.  We'll see.

Q.  Who do you think the tallest woman you have a win over has been, and who in mixed doubles, the tallest man, do you have a win over?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  I have no idea.  I don't know.

Q.  There's been four straight matches now with the men and women combined where the lower‑ranked player won.  Do you think when Maria and Serena go out there the underdogs get more confidence and it becomes contagious a little bit?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  It's not easy because many times before on the big tournaments I beat top‑10 player, you beat such a names, then you have to play against somebody you should beat and it's completely different story.
That's what I'm trying to now work on.  I think also it was not easy for Ana yesterday, to come out after such a big win, Serena, to play.  Because she was favorite in this match against Bouchard.  So I knew how she was feeling on the court.

Q.  Martina Navratilova talked about the age of power tennis, height is a real disadvantage.  You're overcoming tall players.  How do you do it?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  How?  Obviously I'm not a tall player.  I would say I'm the smallest on tour.
But, you know, I would say I'm pretty quick on my feet.  I do a lot of good footwork.  I'm really powerful on the court.  I have very good groundstrokes.  My forehand is pretty fast.
Yeah, when I play my great tennis, I'm really aggressive.  I don't know, that's what I do the best.

Q.  How confident are you that you'll be able to play as aggressive as you did today against Agnieszka or Vika?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA:  Every match I play against of them, it was me who was doing pressure on them.  I was the one who was dictating the game, the one who was going for bigger shots.
So they both are great players.  I just want to keep my focus, you know, to stay aggressive.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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