In the end, a net-cord victor handed Cibulkova the biggest title of her career to date, who dropped to the ground, splayed out in sheer joy after the 76-minute battle.
Dominika Cibulkova reflected on the biggest triumph of her career after producing a stunning display to beat Angelique Kerber to the WTA Finals title. "I think pushing myself like that has really helped me get to where I am".
Earlier, no sooner had Simona Halep's two-hander landed wide, Cibulkova was down on her knees, head thrown back and fists pumping.
"In the first match I played against Angelique (this week), that match gave me confidence that I could beat her", Cibulkova said. After those panned out, Cibulkova defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semifinal in a three-setter before eventually defeating world number one Kerber to be the champion of the tournament. Kerber settled her nerves getting on the board and securing the break back only for Cibulkova to burn her again. I think when I will go home now I will just think about the best moments and the positive emotions'. "With this thought I was going into the final and I was feeling it from the first point to the last point". I ve worked with him for one and a half years. She had faced Kerber on the court in 11 official matches, where she enjoyed a 6-5 head-to-head advantage since they initially competed against each other in 2008.
The 27-year-old Slovak is serving to close-out the set, and takes the frame 6-3, with a crisp forehand victor.
Kerber made a weak return at deuce before the underdog sealed the title on her fourth match point, courtesy of a net cord off a forehand. With a straight-sets win over Halep and a straight-set victory from Kerber over Keys, the Slovak would advance to the final four.
Georgia Bulldogs: Dawgs Fall to Florida Gators
The Bulldogs (4-4, 2-4 SEC) are in desperate need of a win as two teams heading in opposite directions meet Saturday at 7:30 p.m. With McElwain drawing up plays and Smart trying to stop them, they made practices intense and raised the bar in Tuscaloosa.
Unable to find a first serve, Kerber was struggling to stay in the contest as Cibulkova continued to feast on her apprehensive play and the Slovakian stormed ahead with a brilliantly worked break in the seventh game.
"I just have no words", the 27-year-old said of winning the WTA Finals after her debut, during which she struck 28 winners, twice as many as her opponent.
Dominika Cibulkova was obviously very happy after her most important WTA Title in career.
Cibulkova's first defeat at this year's tournament was a tight three-set loss to Kerber, victor of the Australian Open and US Open in 2016.
"I gave everything I had on the court and it's an honour to play on the big stage in front of my incredible fans", Kerber said. Even after she had two break points, I was still in the game.