Gavrilova sets up Rogowska showdown
Third seed Daria Gavrilova and No.1 seed Olivia Rogowska will go toe-to-toe in the Australian Open Play-off semifinals after each came through their matches on Thursday in straight sets.
Daria Gavrilova has set up an intriguing semifinal battle with top seed Olivia Rogowska after brushing aside Abbie Myers at the Australian Open 2015 Play-off on Thursday.
Gavrilova, the third seed, won 6-1 6-2, by far the steadier of the two players on Court 6 at Melbourne Park.
Myers, 20, could not control her big game; she showed glimpses of the big serve and heavy forehand that make her a dangerous opponent, but was undone by a string of unforced errors.
Gavrilova by contrast was the consummate counterpuncher, playing percentage tennis, covering the court nimbly and cleverly choosing her moments to attack.
“I really had the same tactics (as in other matches against Myers on the Pro Tour). I played really well today, I think I returned really, really good and served alright,” she assessed.
“If I can continue playing like that I should do well (going forward).”
With Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik, coach Nicole Pratt and boyfriend Luke Saville watching from the stands, Gavrilova was in sharp form right from the very first point.
She opened up a 4-0 lead, double-break lead after Myers sent a backhand long, and although Myers got on the board in the fifth game with a scorching return winner, more mistakes handed Gavrilova the set two games later.
Rallies were longer and more competitive throughout the second set, yet it was still Gavrilova coming out on top.
The Russian-born Australian scored a break in the third game en route to a 3-1 lead. Myers admirably tried to change up play with some different trajectories on her shots, but Gavrilova was simply too grooved and relentless.
In the final game, Myers committed several more errors to hand Gavrilova match point; the third seed sealed victory with a crosscourt forehand winner.
“I haven’t played Olivia (Rogowska) for a while, last time was in Bendigo two years ago, and I lost in three. So I’m looking forward to taking revenge, and it should be a good match,” she said.
Rogowska will represent a tough prospect, earlier on Thursday winning her second consecutive Play-off match in straight sets, this time over eighth seed Alison Bai.
The Victorian, currently ranked 128th, broke early in the first set and rode that momentum throughout the match, posting a 6-4 6-4 victory.
In the third match of the day, fourth seed Arina Rodionova overcame 18/u Australian girls’ champion Olivia Tjandramulia 6-4 6-3.
Awaiting Rodionova in the semifinals will be the winner of the match between promising teenagers Naiktha Bains and Maddison Inglis.
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