Dominika Cibulková

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Dominika Cibulková
Cibulkova RG19 (5) (48199419602).jpg
Cibulková at the 2019 French Open
Full nameDominika Navara Cibulková[1]
Country (sports) Slovakia
Born (1989-05-06) 6 May 1989 (age 30)
Height5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Turned pro2004
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachMatej Lipták
Prize money$13,725,520
Career record450–299 (60.1%)
Career titles8 WTA, 2 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 4 (20 March 2017)
Current rankingNo. 315 (23 September 2019)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenF (2014)
French OpenSF (2009)
WimbledonQF (2011, 2016, 2018)
US OpenQF (2010)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsW (2016)
Olympic Games3R (2008)
Career record55–81 (40.4%)
Career titles1 WTA
Highest rankingNo. 59 (13 August 2012)
Current rankingNo. 1201 (11 November 2019)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open3R (2016)
French Open2R (2010, 2014)
Wimbledon3R (2010)
US OpenQF (2008)
Team competitions
Fed CupSF (2013),
Record 21–19
Hopman CupW (2009)
Last updated on: 20 July 2019.

Dominika Cibulková[1] (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈdɔminika ˈtsibulkɔʋaː]; born 6 May 1989)[2][3] is a Slovak former professional tennis player.[4] Known for her quick and aggressive style of play, she won eight WTA singles titles and two on the ITF Women's Circuit.

Cibulková reached the quarterfinals or better of all four Grand Slam tournaments. One of the most notable achievements of her career was a final appearance at the 2014 Australian Open, when she became the first female Slovak to reach the championship round of a Grand Slam.[5] She also won the WTA Finals in 2016, becoming the fourth player (after Serena Williams in 2001, Maria Sharapova in 2004 and Petra Kvitová in 2011) to win the tournament on debut.

Personal life[edit]

Cibulková was introduced to tennis at the age of eight in Piešťany. She was eleven when her family moved to Bratislava. She lists clay and hard as her favorite surfaces.[4]

Her signature expression, "Pome," translates to "Let's go" or "Come on" in English.[6][7] With the help of her friend Marion Bartoli, she began a clothing line featuring this statement in 2014.[7]

On 9 July 2016, Cibulková married her fiancé Michal Navara.[8]


Early years[edit]

Early in her career, Cibulková predominantly competed on the ITF Women's Circuit, and managed to win two tournaments: the Amarante, Portugal event in 2005, and the Bratislava event in 2006.[4]

2007: Grand Slam debut[edit]

She started the season with a win over Tara Iyer in the first round of the Bangalore Open, but lost to No. 4 seed Jelena Kostanić Tošić in the second round.

At the French Open, Cibulková qualified and made her Grand Slam main draw debut, reaching the third round. In the second round, she upset Martina Müller after beating Sun Tiantian. She eventually lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova. She also reached the third round in Amelia Island, beating Anabel Medina Garrigues but losing to her countrywoman Daniela Hantuchová and the quarterfinals of the ECM Prague Open, beating Gisela Dulko before falling to Victoria Azarenka.

Her best finish of the year came in September, when she exited at the semifinal stage at the Guangzhou International Women's Open in China. She lost to eventual champion Virginie Razzano.[9]

2008: First WTA final[edit]

At the Australian Open, Cibulková lost in the first round to Flavia Pennetta. Playing for Slovakia in the first round of Fed Cup against the Czech Republic in Brno, she split her two singles matches as her country lost the tie 3–2.[10]

At the Qatar Total Open, Cibulková reached her first-ever Tier I quarterfinal, defeating former world No. 1 Venus Williams in the third round, before losing to Agnieszka Radwańska in the quarterfinals. In April, Cibulková reached the final of a WTA event for the first time. At the Tier II clay court Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, she lost in the final to Maria Sharapova. Cibulková was seeded 30th in singles at Wimbledon but lost in the first round to unseeded wildcard and eventual semifinalist Zheng Jie of China. She reached the third round of the women's singles at the 2008 Olympics.[11] At the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Cibulková defeated second-seeded Jelena Janković in the quarterfinals and Marion Bartoli in the semifinals, but lost to seventh-seeded Dinara Safina in the final.[10]

2009: First French Open semifinal[edit]

At the Australian Open, Cibulková advanced to the fourth round and lost to Elena Dementieva. She began the clay-court season at the MPS Group Championships and Family Circle Cup, losing to Elena Vesnina and Elena Dementieva respectively.[12]

At the French Open, she was seeded 20th and defeated Alona Bondarenko, Kirsten Flipkens, Gisela Dulko, and Ágnes Szávay to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. She then defeated Maria Sharapova in straight sets, but lost to Dinara Safina in the semifinal. In this successful phase of her career, she worked with tennis coach Vladimír Pláteník and fitness coach Maroš Molnár from Slovakia. Seeded 14th at Wimbledon, she beat Julie Coin and Urszula Radwańska, but lost to Elena Vesnina in the third round. She then competed at the Swedish Open where she lost to Gisela Dulko in the quarterfinals. She withdrew from the US Open and several of the following hard-court tournaments due to a rib injury.[12]

2010: US Open quarterfinal[edit]

Cibulková started 2010 by reaching the quarterfinals of the ASB Classic where she lost to top seed Flavia Pennetta. At the Australian Open, where she was seeded 23rd, Cibulková was upset by Vania King in the first round.[13]

At the Monterrey Open, she was the fourth seed. Cibulková came from a set down to beat No. 5 seed Ágnes Szávay in the quarterfinals. She fell to fellow Slovak and No. 2 seed Daniela Hantuchová in three sets. At the BNP Paribas Open she was upset by Sara Errani in the second round after receiving a bye.

She then played at the UNICEF Open, losing to Kirsten Flipkens in the quarterfinals. At Wimbledon, where she upset Lucie Šafářová and Ayumi Morita, she lost in the third round to world No. 1 Serena Williams. At the US Open, Cibulková advanced to her second career Grand Slam quarterfinal after defeating Stefanie Vögele, 2009 quarterfinalist Kateryna Bondarenko, Lourdes Domínguez Lino, and 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. She lost to the top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals.[13]

2011: First WTA title[edit]

Cibulková at the 2011 US Open

Cibulková began the year at the Brisbane International. She reached the quarterfinals defeating Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. She lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Petra Kvitová 0–6, 4–6.[14] She then entered the Medibank International Sydney. She defeated Maria Kirilenko in the first round in two sets.[15] In the second round, she beat world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.[16][17] Cibulková was defeated by Alisa Kleybanova in the quarterfinals.[18] Seeded 29th at the Australian Open, Cibulková won her first two rounds over Angelique Kerber and Alberta Brianti. In the third round, she lost to world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.[19]

In the Fed Cup tie versus the Czech Republic, Cibulková played one rubber where she was upset by Petra Kvitová.[20] The Czech Republic ended up defeating Slovakia 3–2.[21] Seeded eighth at the Open GdF Suez, Cibulková advanced to the quarterfinals beating qualifier Ana Vrljić and Melanie Oudin. In the quarterfinals, she lost to third seed Kaia Kanepi.[22] At Dubai, Cibulková lost in the first round to Jarmila Groth.[23] At the Qatar Ladies Open, she was defeated in the second round by second seed and eventual champion Vera Zvonareva 6–1, 6–2.[24] Seeded 25th at the BNP Paribas Open, Cibulková got a first-round bye. She won her second- and third-round matches over wildcard Sania Mirza and third seed Vera Zvonareva. She lost in the fourth round to 23rd seed Yanina Wickmayer.[25] Seeded 25th at the Sony Ericsson Open, Cibulková again got a first-round bye. She was defeated in the third round by eighth seed and eventual champion Victoria Azarenka.[26]

In the World Group Play-offs tie against Serbia, she won her first rubber against Bojana Jovanovski in three sets. Next, she faced Ana Ivanovic in her final rubber. Cibulková won the first set 4–6; it was tied 3–3 in the second set when Ivanovic retired due to an abdominal muscle problem. Her two wins were not enough as Serbia defeated Slovakia 3-2.[27]

Cibulková began her clay-court season at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. She lost in the first round to German wild card Sabine Lisicki in two narrow sets.[28]

At Wimbledon, Cibulková repeated the upset from Sydney by beating Wozniacki in three sets, losing in the quarterfinals to Maria Sharapova.

She won her first WTA title, the Kremlin Cup, edging Kaia Kanepi in three sets. Her win represents the first time a player has captured their maiden title at the Kremlin Cup.[29]


Seeded 17th in the Australian Open, Cibulková lost her second-round match to Gréta Arn. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, she came close to beating then-world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, leading her by a set and 5–2 before Azarenka prevailed. Cibulková then reached the finals of the Barcelona Open, losing to Sara Errani. At the French Open, she avenged her Miami loss to Azarenka, beating the world No. 1 in straight sets in the fourth round. She subsequently reached the quarterfinals for the second time, but lost to Samantha Stosur.[30]

Her only Wimbledon warm up tournament was the UNICEF Open. She reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Nadia Petrova. She lost in the first round at the Wimbledon Championships to Klára Zakopalová. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she competed in the women's singles and the women's doubles with Daniela Hantuchova, but lost in the first round of each.[11]

She defeated Marion Bartoli in straight sets to win the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, California, picking up the second title of her career. She reached the third round of the US Open, losing to Roberta Vinci.[30]


At the Sydney Apia International, Cibulková defeated top-10 players Petra Kvitová, Sara Errani, and Angelique Kerber en route to the final, which she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska, notably failing to win a single game.[31] At the Australian Open, she lost in the second round to Valeria Savinykh. At the Bank of the West Classic she won her third career WTA title, defeating Stefanie Vögele, Urszula Radwańska, Sorana Cîrstea, and Agnieszka Radwańska.

She reached the quarterfinals at the Rogers Cup and in Linz before losing to Li Na and Ana Ivanovic respectively.

2014: First Grand Slam final and inconsistencies[edit]

Cibulková began her 2014 season at the Brisbane International, where she dropped a quarterfinal match to Serena Williams.[32] At the Australian Open, she won her first three matches in straight sets, setting up her first hard-court meeting with Maria Sharapova, whom she defeated in three sets. She then defeated Simona Halep in the quarterfinal to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2009 French Open.[33] Following her semifinal upset over Agnieszka Radwańska, Cibulková was featured on the January 24 cover of The Washington Post.[34] She faced Li Na in her first Grand Slam final, losing the first set in a tie-break and the second set without winning a game.[32]

In February, she played for Slovakia in a Fed Cup match against Germany. She lost both her matches, against Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber. Slovakia was eliminated from the competition.[35]

Cibulková won the Mexican Open in Acapulco with a victory over Christina McHale.[32] She reached the quarterfinal round of the BNP Paribas Open, losing to Li Na. At the Sony Open in Miami, she defeated Agnieszka Radwańska in a three-set quarterfinal. With this victory, Cibulková entered the WTA top 10 for the first time in her career. She exited the tournament in the semifinals, losing to Li Na in three sets. She then reached the final of the BMW Malaysian Open, which she lost to Donna Vekić. After that final, Cibulková's struggles with form were noticeable, as she won just nine matches and lost fifteen till the end of season. At Grand Slam tournaments, she reached the third round of the French Open and Wimbledon.[32] She exited in the first round of the US Open, losing to CiCi Bellis in three sets.

2015: Achilles surgery[edit]

Cibulková at the 2015 Australian Open

Cibulková began her season at the Brisbane International, but lost in the first round to Madison Keys. At the Australian Open, Cibulková was the 11th seed. She reached the quarterfinals by beating Kirsten Flipkens, Tsvetana Pironkova, Alizé Cornet and Victoria Azarenka. In the quarterfinal match, Cibulková lost to then-world No. 1 and eventual champion Serena Williams.[36]

After the Australian Open, Cibulková competed at the Diamond Games. She reached the quarterfinals by beating qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko and qualifier Indy De Vroome. However, in the quarterfinals, Cibulková lost to eventual champion Andrea Petkovic. During that match, she struggled with a left achilles tendon injury. Cibulková underwent surgery for her left achilles tendon in February and missed the North American hard-court and all of the clay-court season.

Cibulková returned for the grass-court season at the Aegon International, losing to Tsvetana Pironkova in the third round. At Wimbledon, Cibulková lost in the first round to compatriot Daniela Hantuchová.[36]

At the Connecticut Open, Cibulková reached the quarterfinals by beating Tsvetana Pironkova and Kristina Mladenovic before losing to eventual finalist Lucie Šafářová. At the US Open, Cibulková upset former world No. 1 and French Open champion Ana Ivanovic in the first round. In the second round, Cibulková beat American qualifier Jessica Pegula. In the third round, Cibulková lost to Eugenie Bouchard in a tight three-set match.

At the Toray Pan Pacific Open, Cibulková reached the semifinals by beating Mirjana Lučić-Baroni, Carla Suárez Navarro, and defending champion Ana Ivanovic. In the semifinals, Cibulková fell to eventual champion Agnieszka Radwańska. Cibulková's final tournament of the year was at the Kremlin Cup, where she lost in the second round to Carla Suárez Navarro.[36]

2016: Resurgence, WTA Finals champion[edit]

Cibulková started her 2016 year at the Brisbane International. In the first round, Cibulková beat Yanina Wickmayer in three sets followed by a second-round loss to eight seed Roberta Vinci in straight sets. Next, she played at the Hobart International where she was the third seed. She reached the semifinals by beating Johanna Konta, Australian wild card Kimberly Birrell and qualifier Kiki Bertens. In the semifinals, Cibulková lost to Eugenie Bouchard in a three-set match. At the Australian Open, she lost in the first round to 28th seed Kristina Mladenovic in two sets, thus failing to defend her quarterfinal points from 2015.[37]

In February, she played one match for Slovakia in the Fed Cup tie against Australia. She won her match against Kimberly Birrell, but Slovakia lost to Australia 2–3.

Cibulková reached the final in Acapulco, where she lost to the second seed Sloane Stephens.[37] She later played in Indian Wells, where she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska in the second round, despite leading 5–3 and having a match point in the third set.

Cibulková won the Katowice Open by defeating Camila Giorgi in the final. This was her first WTA title of the season. She then reached the final of the Madrid Open, but was runner-up to Simona Halep.

At the rain-drenched French Open that year, in muddy and heavy conditions, she reached the third round before falling to Carla Suarez Navarro. Cibulková won her first grass-court title at the Eastbourne International, defeating Karolína Plíšková in the final. She then reached the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships where she was defeated by Elena Vesnina.

Following early exits in the US Open and the Pan Pacific Open, she reached the final in Wuhan, opposite Petra Kvitová, but finished as runner-up. Nevertheless, this strong performance in the tournament, including having to play two matches on the same day at one point, saw her reach a career high of No. 8 in the rankings.[37]

Cibulková then entered the Generali Ladies Linz, which she won with a straight-sets victory over Viktorija Golubic, earning her third WTA title of the year and seventh overall. It also ensured that she qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time in her career. After dropping a three-set match to Angelique Kerber, and a second match to Madison Keys, Cibulková defeated Simona Halep in straight sets to advance to the semifinals. She then defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets, advancing to the championship round. She beat world No. 1 Angelique Kerber in straight sets to claim the WTA Finals title in her first appearance at the tournament.[37] She ended the year with four titles and a career-high ranking of world No. 5.[38]

2017: First doubles title, out of top 20[edit]

Cibulková reached the third round of the Australian Open, losing to Ekaterina Makarova in three sets. She then reached the semifinals of the St. Petersburg Open, but lost to Yulia Putintseva. She advanced to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open following a three-set victory over Kristýna Plíšková, but lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets. Nevertheless, this result saw her rise to a new career high of No. 4 in the WTA rankings.[39] In Miami, she reached the last 16 before losing to Lucie Šafářová.

Cibulková was due to play in Stuttgart but withdrew at the last minute, citing a wrist injury sustained in practice.[40] In Madrid, she defeated Jelena Janković in the first round, but then she lost to the qualifier Océane Dodin.[41] In Rome, Cibulková had a bye in first round before she lost to Ekaterina Makarova.[42]

At the French Open, she defeated Lara Arruabarrena before losing to lucky loser Ons Jabeur in second round.[43]

In 's-Hertogenbosch, Cibulková lost in the first round to German qualifier Antonia Lottner.[44] However, she managed to win the doubles title alongside Kirsten Flipkens. This was her first WTA title in doubles, although this was already her third doubles final at this tournament.[45] In Birmingham, Cibulková lost in the first round to Lucie Šafářová.[46] She lost in the first round at Eastbourne to Heather Watson, failing to retain her title.[47]

In the first round of Wimbledon, Cibulková defeated Andrea Petkovic in a two-hour-and-43-minute-long match.[48] She then defeated Jennifer Brady in straight sets, before losing to Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh in the third round.[49]

In New Haven, Cibulková lost in the final to Daria Gavrilova.[50] At US Open, Cibulková defeated fellow Slovak player Jana Čepelová, before losing to Sloane Stephens in second round.

2018: Continued struggles[edit]

Cibulková started new season in Sydney, after defeating Anastasija Sevastova and Elena Vesnina, she lost in quarterfinals to Angelique Kerber.[51] At Australian Open Cibulková lost in the first round to Kaia Kanepi.[52] In Doha, Cibulková defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, before losing to the seventh seed Caroline Garcia in second round.[53] Pavlyuchenkova later defeated her 6–7, 7–6, 7–6 in the final of the Internationaux de Strasbourg, in a marathon match that lasted 215 minutes.[54] At French Open Cibulková lost in the first round to Julia Görges.[55]

Cibulková started grass-court season in Birmingham, where she lost in the first round to Daria Gavrilova.[56] In Eastbourne, Cibulková defeated Ekaterina Makarova before losing to Angelique Kerber in the second round.[57] Cibulková then reached quarterfinals in Wimbledon, defeating Johanna Konta and Elise Mertens en route. In the quarterfinals she lost to Jelena Ostapenko.[58]

At the US Open, Cibulková defeated Angelique Kerber in the third round[59] before losing to Madison Keys in straight sets.[60]

In December she opened her own tennis academy, Love4Tennis, in Bratislava and took part in a film about Li Na, to whom she lost in the final of the Australian Open in 2014.[61].

2019: End of career[edit]

Cibulková started the 2019 season in Sydney with a first-round loss to Samantha Stosur.[62] At the Australian Open, she lost in the first round to Zhang Shuai in three sets. At Dubai, she defeated Lara Arruabarrena in the first round, before falling to Karolína Plíšková. At Indian Wells, she lost to eventual champion Bianca Andreescu in the second round, and lost to Victoria Azarenka in the first round at Miami. She won both of her rubbers at the Fed Cup World Group II Play-offs, defeating Carolina Meligeni Alves and Beatriz Haddad Maia. She lost to Greetje Minnen in the first round of Stuttgart, and lost in the first round at Madrid to Naomi Osaka. She progressed to the second round of Rome by defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, before falling to Osaka again. She then lost to Aryna Sabalenka in the first round of the French Open. She did not play another singles match for the rest of the season, and by the end of the season, she had sunk to No. 315 on the WTA rankings. Cibulková retired from professional tennis at the end of the season.[63] Coincidentally, her final match of the year was at the French Open in doubles, partnered with Lucie Šafářová. The pair lost in the first round to Sofia Kenin and Andrea Petkovic, and Šafářová retired after this tournament, meaning that both retired players' last match was with each other.

Playing style[edit]

Cibulková swinging a forehand

In 2014, Steve Tignor of called Cibulková "a threat to everyone".[64] In describing her style, he later suggested that "any player, from top pros to rank amateurs, can learn a thing or two from how Cibulková approaches the game," citing aggression, enthusiasm, and a quick pace between points.[65]

Self-described as a player with "a lot of energy",[4] Cibulková employed an aggressive style that was largely founded on speed and power.[66] She was known for her remarkable racquet-head speed,[64] which enabled her to produce deep groundstrokes with her forehand and powerful shots with her backhand. She was also known for approaching the net and finishing points with swing volleys.[64][67] Her aggressive shots have been noted for their ability to force errors or produce winners during extended rallies.[68]

When a point ended, Cibulková "refocused right away," using the pace to pressure opponents or avoid negativity.[65] She typically employed a high ball toss and a hard serve.[65]

On defense, she often attacked second serves with quick forehands, and hit prompt returns while taking the ball on the rise. Occasionally, she did break a prolonged rally by mixing in a drop shot. Her lower-body strength created quickness around the court, enabling her to reach and return shots.[64][66]

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 1 runner-up[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 2014 Australian Open Hard China Li Na 6–7(3–7), 0–6

WTA Tour Championships finals[edit]

Singles: 1 title[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 2016 Singapore Hard (i) Germany Angelique Kerber 6–3, 6–4

Grand Slam singles performance timeline[edit]

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.
Tournament 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 SR W–L
Australian Open A A Q1 1R 4R 1R 3R 2R 2R F QF 1R 3R 1R 1R 0 / 12 19–12
French Open A A 3R 3R SF 3R 1R QF 2R 3R A 3R 2R 1R 1R 0 / 12 21–12
Wimbledon A A Q1 1R 3R 3R QF 1R 3R 3R 1R QF 3R QF A 0 / 11 22–11
US Open A A 2R 3R A QF 2R 3R 1R 1R 3R 3R 2R 4R A 0 / 11 18–11
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 3–2 4–4 10–3 8–4 7–4 7–4 4–4 10–4 6–3 8–4 6–4 7–4 0–2 0 / 46 80–46



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External links[edit]

Preceded by
United States Venus Williams
WTA Comeback Player of the Year
Succeeded by
United States Sloane Stephens