(January 22, 2014) No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova routed No. 11 Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0 to move into the semifinals of the Australian Open on Wednesday. For the Slovak it’s her second major semifinal, the first coming at the 2009 French Open. Cibulkova is now 2-5 in Grand Slam quarterfinals
In a match which lasted 60 minutes, Cibulkova won the last 8 games to close the match. Halep only managed to win 10 points in the second set.
Cibulkova kept the ball deep in her rallies with the Romanian, who committed 25 unforced errors.
“I couldn’t play today,” Halep said. “I had emotions, big emotions, and I couldn’t manage this. Before the match I was very nervous and I didn’t feel the ball at all. I couldn’t move my body and I couldn’t play.
“But she played really well today, and she hits all the balls very strong and she moves really well.”
Cibulkova came into the quarterfinals by upsetting No. 3 Maria Sharapova in three sets.
“Of course I’m really glad with the way I played, especially with the way I handled it mentally,” Cibulkova said. “It was a big win against Maria.
“But I wasn’t favorite in this match again against Halep, you know.
“I walked on the court with the confident that I can do it again today. I was so focusing what I have to do, to do the right things. That was all what I wanted to do, and of course enjoy my tennis again.
“I’m not so tall, but I’m intense on the court,” the 5’3” Cibulkova said, “and I’m powerful.”
“Obviously I’m not a tall player. I would say I’m the smallest on tour.
“But, you know, I would say I’m pretty quick on my feet. I do a lot of good footwork. I’m really powerful on the court. I have very good groundstrokes. My forehand is pretty fast.
“Yeah, when I play my great tennis, I’m really aggressive. I don’t know, that’s what I do the best.”
Dispite the poor performance by Halep, reaching the quarterfinals has been her best result at a major to date.
“I think I will have many chances to pass quarterfinals in Grand Slams,” Halep said. “But I have to work hard like until now. So I have my chances in this career and I want to get them. I want to be more prepared before the big matches.
“So I have to work, hard work.”
“Yes, I am happy that I could play a quarterfinals here in Grand Slam,” she continued. “Was my dream before this. I don’t want to disturb my mind very much this sh– today, this match.
“But I just want to enjoy the day and to go home very happy. I have to enjoy my best result in Grand Slam.”
Cibulkova will face the winner of the Victoria Azarenka – Agniezska Radwanska winner in the semifinals.
“Every match I play against of them, it was me who was doing pressure on them,” Cibulkova said of her potential opponents. “I was the one who was dictating the game, the one who was going for bigger shots.
“So they both are great players. I just want to keep my focus, you know, to stay aggressive.”