Kerber and Cibulkova in feisty final
Kerber-Cibulkova final poised to be a feisty showdown
Her sentences were punctuated with short, sharp nods of the head, her hands moving just as wildly as her feet were out in the middle of the Singapore Indoor Stadium an hour earlier.
Dominika Cibulkova played the semi-final of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global with her heart on her sleeve, as she had every time she stepped out on the court here, and it will be the same today when she lines up in the final against world No. 1 Angelique Kerber.
But this time, that heart on the sleeve of the Slovak will be beating in a deeper shade of smouldering scarlet - you see, she wants revenge.
And Cibulkova was bouncing on her seat in the press room as she spoke of Kerber.
"I couldn't wish for anything more than to play against her in the final and have my revenge. Yeah, it will be extremely tough. She is the world No. 1, having a great season playing unbelievable as well," Cibulkova said, after beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 in yesterday's earlier semi-final.
"Tomorrow, I will go there and just want to win."
Cibulkova was beaten 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 6-3 by Kerber in a tight opening match of the WTA Finals last Sunday, but the German believes she has found her rhythm that was not quite there when the two first played in Singapore.
"Of course it's a little bit weird to play against one opponent twice in one tournament - this never happened before for me," said Kerber, who swept aside Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-1 in the yesterday's second semi-final.
"The first match here was really tight and close, so she has a lot of confidence from the last two matches she won.
"My first match (of any tournament) is always tough. I have to get the rhythm and come to the tournament with really close and tough matches, and this happened here as well.
"I'm playing a lot of more aggressive now than in the first match. I am moving as well a little bit better right now," added the German, issuing her own veiled warning to match Cibulkova's revenge statement.
And yesterday, in the face of an aggressive Radwanska, Kerber showed exactly what she could do, with the Pole describing it best.
"She had an answer for everything. She's not giving anything for free," said a disappointed Radwanska.
"You really need to win the points by yourself. That's what makes her one of the best players in the world, and this year the best.
"She was pretty solid and definitely a very good defender. I was trying to come in, but the balls were just coming back."
If Kerber's semi-final showing was about the head game and having it all together, Cibulkova showed heart in her come-from-behind win against Kuznetsova.
She struggled in the first set, then faced a see-saw second set that saw her break serve and witness her own serve broken in turn, then come back and hold her nerve to take the tie-break 7-2.
It was a similar story in the final set but, again, Cibulkova held her nerve.
"Today the match was - when she gave me one or two easy balls, I took the chance and I was playing better. It was the same the other way around - when I gave her one, two easy balls, she took the chance," said Cibulkova, who will know that Kerber is unlikely to give anything away in the final today.
"I ended the second set really, really well. I was hitting full power and everything and I was going for it.
"I knew there is no other way than to go for it."
That is exactly what Cibulkova will do tonight.