She’s been a semifinalist at the French Open, but Dominika Cibulkova still feels like her best tennis is in front of her. When she’s not on the court, “Domi” admits to being an avid player of cards. And there are plenty more quirks about the feisty Slovak.
Apia International Sydney: We understand you love your animals. Who is looking after your little pups while you are away?
Dominka Cibulkova: Of course I am missing them, they are so nice and so cute! I can’t travel with them as it’s just too hard but they spent one month with me in Florida, so I was with them for all of two months, but now I’m really missing them.
AIS: You recently uploaded a picture of playing cards with your own image on them. Do you like to playing poker, or are more a fan of blackjack?
DC: I really love to play cards, especially with my boyfriend. It’s how we relax. We just did my new logo and we will be putting it all over the playing cards soon for my fans.
AIS: You won both Slovakian Player of the Year and the Most Popular Tennis Player in Slovakia – which one means more to you?
DC: Well, best player meant so much as it was off my results, but the second one was all because of my fans and I appreciate this very much and I’m happy that they like me.
AIS: Are you familiar with the term “pocket rocket?” You just bounce with such pace and energy on the court…
DC: I think I have always been like this, you know… But I heard that saying [for the] first time five years ago when I played in Montreal. The whole team started calling me that – I was thinking, “What is that?”
AIS: If you couldn’t ever make it as a tennis player, we think you could make a career off your beautiful hair! What’s your secret?
DC: Thank you. I don’t have a secret. When I was 12, I always had really short hair. I was more like a guy, you know, I liked it short to be different from all the girls, but then I just let it grow and I have all this hair now. [Laughs.]
AIS: It’s nice to see a confident, healthy image of a woman. When you shot topless for Dunlop, were you nervous or are you very comfortable with you body?
DC: I was very comfortable. I have now done a few photo shoots like this back home for some magazines. When it’s topless, it’s okay.
AIS: So, no frontal nudity?
DC: [Laughing.] Oh no, no, no!
AIS: Meanwhile, is that an engagement ring on your finger?
DC: Yeah yeah, I’m engaged. We have [been engaged] together for a year, but I always just call him my boyfriend, not fiance. We are just waiting, as I would like to have a marriage in summer back home, but there is just no time while I’m playing tennis so we are in no rush to be married.
AIS: If you could cuddle either a koala or a kangaroo, which would you pick?
DC: Koala. I haven’t touched one but would love to.
AIS: What did you do for New Year’s Eve?
DC: It was very quiet. Every year, I always just sleep through it. I was very tired when I travel over here, but this year we set the alarm for 11:45, woke up and had a glass of champagne and that was it.
AIS: What food do you like to indulge in?
DC: I really like Slovakian food – real traditional food. It is very different from all other foods dumplings, et cetera. [It’s] very rich and naughty, so I cannot have too often. It’s very fatty.
AIS: What was your best memory from 2012?
DC: Beating Victoria Azarenka at Roland Garros. That was for me the most special moment of my year.
AIS: Best memory of Australia?
DC: I will say yesterday, beating Petra Kvitova. That feeling was great – a good way to start year.