D. CIBULKOVA/V. Azarenka 6‑2, 7‑6
Q. I was doing TV commentary on the match, and we kept looking at your head‑to‑head with her, and I was thinking in Miami in March, thinking of these matches, especially when you go 5‑2 up in the second, I want to know what’s going through your mind there. Because, you know, you can’t be human if you’re not thinking about those previous matches.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, of course. As you said, you can’t be human if you weren’t thinking about that. Because this year in Miami I was 6‑1, 5‑2 up against her, and a pretty similar thing happened. And to last year in Miami it was the same. Like I think I was still 6‑2, 4‑2 up again, and I lost.
So actually today it happened the same when I was 4‑2 up. And that’s why I got a little bit ‑‑ not nervous, but a little bit more ‑‑ not going for my shots anymore.
But today it was a great thing that, you know, I managed to go through these emotions. She was 6‑5 up, and I said, hey, come on, you know, you have to play your game again and just make it.
And for the tiebreak I’m very, very proud of myself that I was still going for my shots, and I just made it because she would never give me the match, and I just ‑‑ I just made it.
Q. Is that the thing you take out of it most of all? Because that’s what we said, I mean, the belief to keep going, because it’s not just the match with all those opportunities. It’s, as you say, everything else. It’s unbelievable, we thought, to come back and win that match in straight sets. Is that the thing, the one thing you take out most of all?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Yeah, like that’s true, what you said, because, you know, I was already 4‑2 up and serving for 5‑2, and then all of a sudden she was 6‑5 up, and the match was turning like this.
So I think this is really, really important for me that I won that set and that I ‑‑ and, you know, I just finally made it, because I, you know ‑‑ I’m playing really well all the tournament, you know, but this was the moment where I was just ‑‑ I needed to do it. I needed to play well in this situation. I just made it, and it was really, really hard for me. You know, I just went through it. So I’m really, really glad.
Q. In the second set before you served you kissed the ball a couple of times. Do you do that very often?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: No, I’m not kissing the balls. I really like the smell of the balls, of the new balls. (Smiling).
I was just smelling the balls all the time. I do the same things. Yeah.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about why do you need to smell the ball?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I don’t need to do it, but it’s just my habit, what I do on the court when I have new balls. I just smell them. It’s maybe also for the luck, and I do it all my life, so it’s just, you know, something, what I do on the court.
Q. Victoria said she thinks you produce your best performances against the players at the very top of the rankings. Do you think that’s true?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: That I play my best when I play against a better player?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I mean, you know, I was never in top 10. I was still never the player that, you know ‑‑ I go on the court and I am favorite against these players. Of course, it’s sometimes much easier, not much easier, but you still have to play well, you know, against them.
I’m showing all the time that my game is to be there, and hopefully this year, you know, I will make it. But, you know, this tournament I’m playing well also against the players I have to beat, so I think I’m getting more mature and more tough mentally.
Q. Your coach, how much do you credit him? Because obviously you were with Zeljko for a while and people have written a lot about that, about that relationship. How important has he been? Because you see now on the evidence of today it’s a much more balance to your game. Going for shots but not always. Just going for low percentage.
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: Exactly. We split with Zeljko after Miami. We split with him after that match ‑‑ not after the match, but whatever. We split after Miami, and it was maybe a little bit too much for me, you know.
I mean, I have to give him the credit. He gave me a lot on the tennis side. You know, he helped me change my game. He showed me what is my weapons.
But maybe after it was a little bit too much pressure, you know. I just ‑‑ I just couldn’t handle it, you know. He was maybe too much pushing. It was, I would say now, the best thing what could happen to me that we split with him. And actually now I’m just more relaxed on the court, and I just don’t need to go for everything, you know. I go what I feel, and, you know, it’s really so, so much better.
I just feel relaxed and I’m again love tennis. You know, we love to go on the court, and I’m enjoying it on the court. That’s what’s the most important.
I think that’s why I play much better now.
Q. When you won, you threw a racquet and you seemed very happy, which is very understandable, of course. But could you explain about the feeling, what kind of a thought went through your mind?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: You know, it was one of the best moments, you know, this year for me, because I ‑‑ I didn’t have such a good result since the beginning of the year, and the most important for me, that it was not about that I go to quarterfinals or that I be No. 1, but it was the important thing that I just made it.
The situations for me, I lost so many matches against good or worse players and I was up winning and then I just couldn’t make it.
And now I just did it, and it was only me on the court who did it and nobody else. I was not like relying on somebody else. It was just my work. So, you know, it was something so good.
Q. You were in this tournament in the semifinal. Do you believe you can make a step forward? Because probably you meet Samantha Stosur, and also the other players are more or less not the big ‑‑ okay, big names, but you can reach it? Do you believe you can be in the final?
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA: I mean, I believe ‑‑ of course I believe, you know. If I wouldn’t believe, I wouldn’t be sitting here.
But this is for me really important stage that, you know, I have this confidence that I really needed for a long time, and I think the confidence on this level the most important thing. So of course I believe, but I just need to keep this level, you know, and to go for next match, which is good things, you know, what I was able to do and change on the court.