New York state of mind for Gavrilova
The unseeded by dangerous Daria Gavrilova is hoping a good result at Flushing Meadows can help her rebuild her ranking - and push her even higher.
For a young woman in a hurry, New York ought to be Daria Gavrilova’s kind of place.
But Australia’s former US Open junior champion is both uneasy and realistic about her lowly standing in the tennis pecking order ahead of the Grand Slam that never sleeps.
“You have to be seeded here,” Gavrilova said matter of factly.
“Otherwise you’re practising out on P15 in the park- on the fastest court with freaking leaves around.
“It’s true. P15. Sharing. Yesterday I had my fitness trainer and like (a) big team and all other girls, so it was a freaking zoo there.
“New York is a different experience. I like to come here, but it’s very busy for my liking.
“I feel like even the US Open; it’s full-on, it’s intense.”
Just as Gavrilova is intensely competitive – and privately peeved at her inability to kick on from her breakout season in 2015 and secure a seeding this year at Flushing Meadows.
The lack of protection has left the former top-ranked junior vulnerable come draw time.
After landing Serena Williams in the first round of the Rio Olympics, Gavrilova will play 2015 French Open finalist Lucie Safarova on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST).
“I’ve been having tough draws. A tough draw here as well,” Gavrilova said.
“But that’s life I guess and to be honest no matter who I play it really is the same. It’s still a tennis game.
“I’ll try to play my best and I’m confident if I do that, I can get through it.”
The WTA’s 2015 Newcomer of the Year is certainly well prepared for the searing New York heat after a week-long training block in Florida with managerial stablemate and 2011 champion Sam Stosur.
“It was pretty hot there, tough conditions,” Gavrilova said.
“But it is hot and humid here too, so I’m prepared for that and playing pretty good.
“The US swing has been good. I’ve had some good wins, lost to (world No.4 Simona) Halep twice, but played some good tennis in Cincinnati.
“So I’m feeling pretty confident and I’m hungry to get back to where I was – and higher.”