READY TO TAKE CARE OF UNFINISHED BUSINESS
After a year that saw Dominika Cibulkova break into the world’s top 10 and play in a Grand Slam final, the 25 year old Slovak has returned to where it all began. She is back down under, 12 months after a summer campaign that included two finals appearances and a warm rapport with the Australian public.
How is the health and fitness heading into the new season?
I’m feeling really fit. I did my pre-season and I’ve been working hard for over a month and I’m just feeling good and ready and happy to be here
You did so well here in Australia last season. Do you come here with a lot of confidence and high expectations given that success you enjoyed 12 months ago?
Yeah of course. Reaching the finals of a grand slam gives you a lot of confidence and extra confidence that you can do something big like this. I have a lot of great memories and of course it would be very nice to get such a big result again. But I guess you can look at it two ways. It can give you confidence or it could put you under pressure. And I don’t want to put myself under pressure!
How do you look back on that experience 12 months ago? It was such an incredible summer campaign you enjoyed.
Yes it was the best two weeks of my tennis career so far and I will never forget it.
The Australian Open didn’t quite go to plan though. Do you look back on it with a tinge of disappointment?
Yeah but the first grand slam final is always very tough. If you look back on it, there’s only a few players who get to win their first grand slam final so it just gives me extra confidence because next time I will do it a different way.
Your game capitulated somewhat in the final of the Sydney International and the same thing happened in the Australian Open final. So how have you addressed that in the past 12 months?
Yeah the final of the Sydney tournament was pretty tough for me. I played great the whole tournament and then in the final I was just unlucky because I was playing well and then the final, well, it was just a different story you know. And then in Melbourne, same thing, I was playing great but Li Na just overplayed me with great tennis.
You achieved a huge milestone when you broke into the top 10 last season. So what’s the goal in 2015?
It was my dream to be a top 10 player and that’s what happened to me last year. I played finals of a grand slam and the first half of the year was really great. It was like a dream come true for me. So let’s just see. You know I play my best when I enjoy it on the court so that’s what I want to do.
There seems to be so many great tennis players coming out of your part of the world there in Slovakia. What can you attribute that to?
I’m not sure. I have no idea. But it’s nice to see our friends and colleagues from the same part of the world in Europe doing well for sure.
If there is one tournament you are desperate to do well in this year, what would it be?
It’s tough to say. You know it’s a dream one day to win a grand slam. You know I don’t want to make crazy goals. I always want to win the next tournament coming up. So I never say there is one particular one I want to win this year.
Really? Most tennis players have one don’t they? I hear a lot talk about Wimbledon as being the pinnacle for them. What’s the dream win for you?
Oh. Roland Garros. Roland Garros would be a dream for me for sure.
Every time I see you, you’re in this particular brand that has the word Pome all over it so I looked it up and it’s your own label. Tell me about that.
It’s the “Domi” collection so it’s a nickname of my name. So “Pome”, well it’s a word I use on the court to support myself. So it’s like my word so that’s why we put it on the t-shirt because it’s like my trademark.
Sounds fantastic and very stylish. So while you are wearing the “Domi” collection what can we expect from you in 2015?
We’ll see. We’ll see. I mean if you had told me at the beginning of last year that I would play finals of a grand slam and I would be top 10 I wouldn’t have believed you, but I would have taken it. So we’ll just see what’s going to happen this year.