x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Small can be beautiful as Cibulkova proved

The Australian Open finalist was a refreshing change to the stereotypes in women's tennis.

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia signs autographs after her giant-killing run at Melbourne came to an end. David Gray / Reuters
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia signs autographs after her giant-killing run at Melbourne came to an end. David Gray / Reuters

Over the past year and a half, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has been running a campaign, titled “Strong is Beautiful” to challenge stereotypes about the fairer sex. It has featured stars of the present, greats of the past and a few legends of Hollywood.

Dominika Cibulkova has been a part of that campaign as well.

But at 5ft 3ins (1.61m) tall and 55kg, the 24 year old might seem a bit of a misfit when you consider average size in the WTA locker rooms.

She is powerful, yes, and can give the ball a fearful pounding, but this is an era of imposing player, ushered in by the likes of Serena Williams (5ft 9ins, 70kg), Venus Williams (6ft 1ins, 72.5kg), Lindsay Davenport (6ft 2ins, 79kg) and, Mary Pierce (5ft 10ins, 68kg). Even Margaret Court, the most dominant player ever in women’s tennis, was a Serena-like 5ft 9ins and 67.5kgs.

Maria Sharapova (59kg), who lost to Cibulkova in the fourth round, stood 11 inches taller than her opponent.

Cibulkova, on the other hand, is the third-shortest woman on the Tour, and the shortest in the top 100. But, during her glitzy run to the final of the Australian Open, the Slovakian has shown that size might not really matter as much.

Before the final she talked of her “power” “fight” and “energy” saying her She used those gifts well in Australia and if she can keep going this way, the WTA could be looking at a new new campaign. Perhaps, “Good things come in small packages”?

arizvi@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter at @SprtNationalUAE