WTA Tour

Cibulkova on double duty to make final

2016-06-24 17:24
Dominika Cibulkova (Getty Images)

Eastbourne - Dominika Cibulkova is one victory away from her first grass-court title after she powered through two matches in a matter of hours to reach the final of the WTA Eastbourne event on Friday.

The Slovak began her day by turning around a deficit of a set and a break from a rainy Thursday night to beat top seed Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 in the quarter-finals.

She then had just a few hours for an ice bath and lunch before warming up again for her semi-final, where she hammered Puerto Rican qualifier Monica Puig 6-2, 6-1 in 72 minutes.

In Saturday's final Cibulkova will face Czech 10th seed Karolina Pliskova, who fired a dozen aces for a 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-3 win over British 11th seed Johanna Konta.

Konta, a source of attention all week for the local media, ran out of puff and did not benefit from a pair of sliding falls on the grass which may have shaken her confidence.

Cibulkova will be playing her fourth final of the season and bidding for a second title of 2016 after winning in Katowice in April. She beat Pliskova in a 2014 semi-final in Kuala Lumpur.

The Slovak, who had an Achilles tendon operation last year and almost fell out of the top 50, is playing Eastbourne -- a traditional Wimbledon tune-up - for only the second time.

"This is my best day ever on a grass court. I'm extremely happy," said Cibulkova, a former Australian Open runner-up.

"I'm playing really well and got confidence from beating Aga in the first match. The match with Monica was completely different, another style.

"But I was able to win and I'm happy. We will see about the final, This will be my first final on grass so I'm really satisfied. I couldn't wish for a better week."

Cibulkova trailed 6-4, 3-2 to Radwanska when their quarter-final was forced off court.

Sunshine and a stiff wind presented fresh challenges as Cibulkova advanced on Friday.

"Conditions made it difficult but I found myself playing better and better with each game. I came back strong today -- that's why I won," Cibulkova said.

Radwanska refused to be downhearted and said she was fully focused on the Monday start of Wimbledon, where she was runner-up in 2012.

"I'm healthy. I'm good. Ready for Wimbledon. Of course it's always disappointing when you lose, and especially that type of long match. Well, what can you do?" she said.

"Maybe I have a maximum three days of practice at Wimbledon. It's not much, but I'm in the match rhythm."

Results on the sixth day of the Eastbourne International on Friday (x denotes seeded player):

Semi-finals

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x12) bt Monica Puig (PUR) 6-2, 6-1

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x10) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x11) 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-3

Quarter-finals

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x12) bt Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x1) 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x10) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-1, 6-3

Johanna Konta (GBR x11) bt Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Read more on:    dominika cibulkova  |  tennis
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