"Obviously, a lot of the players now are playing better with age. So for sure she's still at the top of her game and it will be tough. For sure she's been in a lot more situations like this than me," she said. "I think I've been doing well this week handling big moments on court. So I'm feeling confident and just excited to play."
The contrast in this match is in playing styles.
Reflecting her nickname, Cibulkova produces plenty of power with her undersized but muscular frame yet remains speedy enough to chase down her opponent's shots. Radwanska is known for her creative shot-making, compensating for her lack of consistent power with improvisation, anticipation and variation.
That was on full display during her three-set win over Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals, as she wowed the crowds with some stunning winners. Other than that, the two are almost the same age and came up through the juniors together.
"I think it's always tricky to play someone that you know for so long, play so many times, as well," said Radwanska. "Every match is a different story, especially when it's a semifinal of a Grand Slam."
Radwanska has been the more successful of the two, reaching a Grand Slam final and Wimbledon and getting as high as No. 3 in the rankings. She also leads the head-to-head 4-1, but the last two matches reflect how much Cibulkova's form can vary -- she lost 6-0, 6-0 in their match at Sydney at the beginning of last year, then won in three sets when they next met at Stanford.
But the Slovakian has been working on playing a more balanced, consistent game, rather than the all-out aggressiveness she was trying a few years ago. Either way, Radwanska remains the heavy favorite. Cibulkova will need to stay aggressive, find plenty winners and pounce on her opponent's weak second delivery to avoid getting outmaneuvered in Thursday's match.
After upsetting Maria Sharapova in the fourth round and following up with a strong quarterfinal performance, she's prepared for the challenge.
"If you play against the best players, you cannot do the same things all the time," said Cibulkova. "You have to change sometimes the tactic. When you go for the winner, I cannot go into the same spot, you know."