In a worrying sign for prospective opponents, Dominika Cibulkova admits she is closing in on the type of form she believes will carry her to Grand Slam glory.
For now, the Slovak No.2 seed’s sights are firmly fixed on her Connecticut Open campaign.
And after fighting back to deny determined Frenchwoman Alize Cornet on Thursday night, the 28-year-old is primed for a ninth showdown with Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarter-finals.
Cibulkova raised her level from 2-4 down in the deciding set as she reeled off the last four games of the match in the 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 result.
On the steady trail back from a shoulder complaint, this win was the confidence boost of which Cibulkova had been searching.
“I knew it was going to be a really tough one. I played her last week in Cincinnati and won in two sets,” Cibulkova said.
“She was playing really aggressive. But this reminded me of how I was playing last year how I came back in that third set.”
With the pair locked at 2-2 after 25 minutes into the third set, it was Cornet who edged ahead with the break on an off-backhand return winner.
Cibulkova was far from done, however. She crunched a forehand winner down the line to break back for 4-4.
And with Cornet serving to stay in the match at 4-5, the Slovak put the foot down. She brought up two match points and secured it on her second when Cornet failed to handle the Slovak’s pace of shot.
“I just want to get as many matches like this under my belt. That’s what I need this year, more matches, more confidence, and this was one of the matches that I really like to build upon,” she said. “I can take this to New York so this is the way I should play if I want to go far in a Grand Slam.
“I knew I won a lot of matches like this especially last year and I knew that matches, it’s not over until the last point so I knew what to do.”