Cibulkova feeling at home on the grass
Originally published on 26/06/16 00:00
The Aegon International champion defeated No.1 seed Agnieska Radwanska en route to the final, before seeing off Aegon Open winner Karolina Pliskova 7-5 6-3 in Saturday’s deciding match.
After claiming her second success of the year in her fourth final, the Slovakian revealed she feels more at home on grass than she has ever before.
“Years ago in the past, I would choose to play in s-Hertogenbosch. I would always choose the smaller tournament before Wimbledon to get more matches because I was never that confident on the grass that I could do well here, especially against the top girls, who all come here to play," she said.
“This tournament, I would say it's the toughest one before the Grand Slam, because everybody wants to play on grass and this is a big one. So, you know, the competition here was really strong. I never saw myself as such a grass court player, but after this one I can say, okay, I have beaten Radwanska, Bondarenko and Ostapenko. I had a tough draw and I managed to win them all.”
And the 27-year-old was quick to pencil the event at Devonshire Park in her diary for next year.
“Now, I’ve been able to do [win the title], yes. I will be back next year.”
The SW19 draw has been kind to Cibulkova, who does not start her campaign against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni until Tuesday. However, six-time tour winner is taking nothing for granted.
“I’m lucky enough that I'm playing on Tuesday. I have really tough opponent playing Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. I played her once at Wimbledon and I won 7-5 in the third set in a really, really tough match.”
Winning at Eastbourne has also allowed Cibulkova to put a new perspective on her SW19 approach.
“This week has definitely given me confidence," she said. "The year I beat Mirjana I played my quarter-final at Wimbledon. So if I pass that, it can be a good Wimbledon for me.”