5 Minutes With… Dominika Cibulkova

We sat down with World No. 11 and Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova after her second-round win against Croatian Donna Vekic at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open. The Slovak talked about her fast start in 2014, her favorite Slovakian food and how she gets her dogs to “play dead.”

BNPPO: You’re off to a great start this year. You won in Acapulco and made your first career Grand Slam final at the Australian Open. Does a fast start like that help your confidence?
DC: Yeah, it’s definitely something that opens different doors for you. It was the first Grand Slam final of my career, and it gave me a lot of confidence. It makes you think, “You can really do it.” If I play well and work hard, then everything will work out.

BNPPO: You describe yourself as a very energetic person. What happens if/when you drink coffee?
DC: [Laughter] Actually, I don’t really like coffee much, but I do enjoy drinking Red Bull. I just have so much energy all the time. I don’t even feel like the drink makes much of a difference with me.

BNPPO: If you were to recommend one food or snack from Slovakia, what would it be?
DC: It would be my favorite food called Bryndzové Halušky. It’s like gnocchi with a special cheese, and cooked bacon. It’s really tasty, but you have to come to Slovakia to try it.

BNPPO: Tell us more about your fashion line.
DC: It’s called Domi, which is how many fans know me. It also says “pome!” on the t-shirt, which means “come on!” in the Slovak Language. It’s also for my foundation, AHN, to help people of Slovakia who are not as lucky as me, so the money from this goes to my foundation.

BNPPO: You’ve noted that you admire Kim Clijsters. What is it about Kim’s game and personality that you enjoy?
DC: I really love her game. She plays a fast style, which I really like. She always fights on the court and is a great runner. But mostly I like her as a person. She was always really nice. She would just win a Grand Slam, and the next day would stop and talk to me. She was always very normal, and that’s what I really like.

BNPPO: You’ve played in this tournament since 2008. What do you enjoy most about Indian Wells?
This is really different from all the other tournaments. The conditions can get a little dry, but the fans here really love tennis and that’s what I like about Indian Wells.

BNPPO: What is the most impressive of your dog’s tricks?
DC: They can play dead! You snap your fingers and they play dead [Laughter].

BNPPO: Thanks for chatting with us!