Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova may have to postpone her wedding on Saturday after reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon with a rip-roaring victory over third seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
Everything is prepared for her to marry Miso Navara in Bratislava on the day of the women’s final, the wedding date set well before Cibulkova discovered a penchant for grasscourt tennis that earned her the Eastbourne title nine days ago and a place in the last eight at the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament.
“We chose this (date) because I never saw myself as such a great grasscourt player,” a beaming Cibulkova said. “But winning Eastbourne and now being in the quarter-finals I would change my mind.
9 July: #Wimbledon Ladies’ Final
9 July: Dominika Cibulkova’s wedding
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) 4 July 2016
“But it’s no problem. We can postpone it (the wedding). I’m still here and I’m playing my match tomorrow.”
On Monday, Cibulkova used a thunderous serve and thumping forehand to wear down Radwanska 6-3 5-7 9-7 in an energy-sapping contest between power and touch.
It was the second time in two weeks that she had beaten Radwanska after a quarter-final victory at Eastbourne.
Cibulkova broke the Pole, whose all-court game lacked bite and precision at the start, in the fourth game of the first set and won it with a big serve that Radwanska knocked tamely into the net.
The pair exchanged breaks throughout the second set and Radwanska saved a match point in the ninth game, finding some verve and finish to grab the set from the disappointed Slovak.
The two women ramped up the quality in the final set, hitting the lines, producing deft dropshots and fighting through exhausting groundstroke rallies to the delight of the gripped Court Three crowd.
“It was a great match,” a subdued Radwanska said. “Every set was better than the last. We are both pretty consistent and solid from the back. I think that makes our matches always pretty tough, long and tight.”
The disappointment was palpable for Radwanska, who reached the final in 2012.
“After three hours you are really exhausted and it could have gone either way, but what can you do?” she said
It was the 13th contest between the pair, both 27, and by now they were shrieking with effort as they ran the lines.
Cibulkova, ranked 18 in the world, survived a monumental 11th game in the set, saving match point with a forehand winner.
The Slovak received a warning for slow play because, she said, she was so tired between points that she needed extra seconds to prepare her serve.
“I would say it was the toughest match in my career so far, physically and also mentally,” Cibulkova added.
It was another thumping forehand that brought her victory on the second match point of the final game for her sixth win against the Pole.