Cibulkova confident of joining grand slam winners' club

Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:15am EST
 
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By Simon Cambers

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova is confident she can win a grand slam title one day as her run to the Australian Open final showed she can adapt her game to all surfaces.

The 24-year-old, the first Slovakian woman to reach a grand slam singles final, was beaten 7-6(3) 6-0 by China's Li Na in the final on Saturday.

But having taken Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska out en route, the 20th seed said she was knocking on the door.

"I'm 24 years old and I have already played in a grand slam final," she told reporters. "I feel like my game is there to challenge the biggest names and to beat them, so why not (win a grand slam)?

"When you play a grand slam final, it's a big step. I'm ready to take it. I was waiting for this for a long time. Now I want to do 100 percent to keep it up.

"It changes the way you see yourself. Now I know I'm 100 percent sure I can do it. I get so much confidence from this tournament.

"I don't want to see it as a pressure. I want to keep going like that. I already did well before at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, so I can play on every surface."

Cibulkova looked a little tight early on but after falling an early break down at 3-1, she leveled at 4-4.   Continued...

 
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia watches the ball as she hits a return to Li Na of China during their women's singles final match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic