Australian Open: Dominika Cibulkova v Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova stretches for a forehand against Dominika Cibulkova. Photo: Angela Wylie
Gamesmanship? Dominika Cibulkova wanted to know the definition of the word. What she was sure about was that Maria Sharapova was making her wait more often than usual due to an errant ball toss, and suspected an ulterior motive.
"I think she was trying to do a lot with the rhythm and to not let me go in my rhythm," said the Slovakian, admitting that she was slightly bothered by the delays. "When the match was coming to the end, I was getting, like, a little bit angry about that, you know. I was keep talking myself, like 'Why she doing that?' I thought it was on the purpose.
"But it was just maybe few seconds I let my thinking go away. But that what I was also working on during my preseason, you know, to let me stay focused and not to let me thoughts go away."
Dominika Cibulkova rejoices after her win over Maria Sharapova. Photo: Angela Wylie
Was it gamesmanship on Sharapova's part? "I don't know. You know, there are many ways that you can beat a player. She knew that I am playing well. I was playing well through the whole tournament. She knew it for sure.
"But, you know, maybe I'm wrong, you know. Maybe she was just really feeling nervous on the serve and not doing the toss thing on the purpose. But, yeah, I think it was something about tactic ... I don't feel that it was that windy. I mean, it was windy a little bit from one side, but it was still quite OK."