Dominika Cibulkova returns to the winners circle with Katowice title
- This is the fifth career WTA title for Cibulkova, who reached the Australian Open final in 2014.
It had been a hard road back for 2014 Australian Open runner-up and former World No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova since undergoing a surgery on her Achilles in 2015. It forced her to miss five months last year and her ranking plummeted to as low as No. 62.
Finally, the Slovak is back in the winners’ circle after her ordeal as she cruised to the title at the Katowice Open on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Camila Giorgi.
The 48th ranked Italian was no easy opponent as she had reached the final in this Polish city for three years in a row and also had a 2-0 head-to-head advantage over the now 53rd ranked Cibulkova.
But it was the eighth-seeded Slovak who looked more dialed in as soon as the final started. With her signature fiery groundstrokes, she raced out to a 4-0 lead in this hardcourt tournament. There was a minor blip in her form though while serving for the set at 5-2 that allowed a brief comeback from the Italian three-time finalist.
The fifth seed pocketed two straight games to close in on 4-5 and even held a couple of break points for a 5-5 chance. But on her second chance of serving out the set, Cibulkova did manage to hold on despite the pressure.
Giorgi simply faded away in the second set as a confident Cibulkova broke her three times for a 6-0 scoreline.
“I would say today I was prepared very good for Camila,” said the champion in her post-match press conference.
“My tactic was to go for it, and I was doing it 100%. I was just playing really solid, going for the shots really strong and I was reading her game really well.
“When I had an easy shot, I always made it, and this was very important today. In the second set, I was going for it even more, and that's why I won today. I wasn’t afraid,” she added.
This is Cibulkova’s fifth career WTA title which is expected to push her back inside the world’s top 40 when the new rankings are released on Monday. She had earlier reached the final at Acapulco in February where she fell to Sloane Stephens narrowly in a hard-fought contest.Published 11 Apr 2016, 15:55 IST