Jubilant Gavrilova fights into the second round of Australian Open
Daria Gavrilova showed some classic Aussie fighting spirit to overcome Czech veteran Lucie Hradecka and charge into the second round at the Australian Open
In-form Daria Gavrilova has showed her fighting qualities to overcome Czech veteran Lucie Hradecka in her opening Australian Open match.
The No.2 Australian beat world No.53 Hradecka 7-6 (6-3) 6-4 to set up a second-round meeting with another Czech, sixth seed Petra Kvitova.
Hradecka had plenty of opportunities to take control of the match with 10 break points, blasting her serve at almost 200km/h.
But Gavrilova saved each one.
Neither player was broken in the first set but 21-year-old Gavrilova raced to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak before wrapping it up in 61 minutes.
She looked in trouble early in the second trailing 0-1 and 15-40 but again saved two break points, the second with an ace and a big `C’mon’ ala countryman Lleyton Hewitt.
“First rounds are all a bit tricky. I didn’t think I played that great off the baseline. I was getting a bit excited and jumping.”
Gavrilova, who soared up the rankings since her first-round exit at Melbourne Park last year from 187 to 39, broke 30-year-old Hradecka at 3-3 and then went on to serve out the set.
“She hits a big ball and it was hard in the beginning to get my rhythm right,” said Gavrilova, who was part of Australia’s triumphant Hopman Cup team earlier this month with Nick Kyrgios.
“In the second set, I played much better and was a bit more aggressive and held the baseline better.”
“It was hard serving it out in the end. I got a bit nervous, and had all those bad thoughts coming in my head. But then I told myself to stop thinking and just playing tennis, just set up points. I think in the end I did it pretty well.”