Hopman Cup: Gavrilova gives Australia 1-0 lead
Daria Gavrilova has played brilliantly in her first outing as an Aussie citizen, thumping Sabine Lisicki to give Australian Green a 1-0 lead at the Hopman Cup.
Update 3.30pm: She was full of nerves before the match, but Russian-born Daria Gavrilova walked off the court in Perth bristling with pride after opening her Australian representative career with a thumping win on Sunday.
Gavrilova, who only received her Australian passport last month, swept aside German Sabine Lisicki 6-2 6-2 in her Hopman Cup debut on Sunday.
The 69-minute romp gave the Australia Green team a 1-0 lead in the tie ahead of Nick Kyrgios’ showdown with rising German star Alexander Zverev.
World No.36 Gavrilova was brutal in her first match of the year, capitalising on an underdone Lisicki with a series of blistering ground strokes.
Her confidence grew as the match wore on.
But the 21-year-old was wracked with a mix of nerves and pride before the match as she sung the Australian national anthem.
“I couldn’t believe how well I handled it. I was so nervous,” Gavrilova said of her win.
“I played pretty well. I held my serve. So I’m very happy.
“I’m just really proud to represent Australia. It meant so much. When I was there and they played the national anthem, I was so happy. I was smiling.”
Lisicki, playing her first match since injuring her knee at the US Open in September, was easy prey.
And Gavrilova will have another great chance to taste victory on Wednesday when she takes on Great Britain’s world No.55 Heather Watson.
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