Gajdosova, Gavrilova join Brisbane winners’ list
The latest chapter in Jarmila Gajdosova's renaissance has seen her set up a match with Serb Ana Ivanovic at the Brisbane International, while Daria Gavrilova continued her winning ways.
Slip ups on a tennis court are nothing new to mercurial Australian Jarmila Gajdosova, unfortunately.
However, the wildcard survived her banana-peel moment despite a slippery court to book a second round showdown with Serbian glamour girl Ana Ivanovic as more Brisbane International seeds fell.
Half of the eight women’s seeds are now out after Slovak Dominika Cibulkova (fourth) was upset by American teenager Madison Keys 7-5 6-2 in the first round and No.8 Garbine Muguruza of Spain withdrew on Monday due to an ankle injury.
However, Gajdosova took another positive step on the comeback trail by upsetting China’s Shuai Zhang 6-4 6-1 – once she regained her feet on the rain-hit court, that is.
Former world No.25 Gajdosova has had her ups and downs in tennis, overcoming the death of her mum in 2012 and a nasty bout of glandular fever last year that reduced her ranking to 334th.
And she took another tumble on Monday, thanks to torrential rain that blew into her largely covered show court.
“We had a few rain delays and I had a little bit of a tumble – but it wouldn’t be a tennis match for me if I didn’t,” she laughed.
“The court was wet and I was going for a shot and pretty much slid all the way through the baseline. So there was a few scrapes, but nothing too serious.”
Gajdosova dusted herself off to emerge triumphant on Monday – and it seems she is making a habit of it.
The resurgent Gajdosova now sits at No.70 after extending a remarkable 29-9 run in the second half of 2014, including wins at ITF events in Nottingham and Vancouver.
She was nominated for the 2014 WTA Comeback Player of the Year.
But she has her eyes on a bigger prize after ousting 61st-ranked Zhang in straight sets – former world No.1 Ivanovic.
“She’s a top-10 player. It gives me an opportunity to see where my game is, what I need to improve,” she said of the world No.7 Ivanovic.
Earlier, 2014 Australian Open runner-up Cibulkova and world No.20 Muguruza became the latest women’s seeds to fall, joining Sunday scalps Andrea Petkovic (fifth) and former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic (sixth).
World No.11 Cibulkova, 25, had no answer for the 19-year-old Keys who booked a second round clash on her Brisbane debut with compatriot Varvaro Lepchenko – Sam Stosur’s surprise first round conqueror.
Muguruza withdrew from Monday’s first round clash with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and was replaced by lucky loser Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia.
Meanwhile, world No.231 Daria Gavrilova shocked American Alison Riske – ranked 88 places higher than the Russian qualifier – in the first round.
Gavrilova – the partner of ex-world junior No.1 Luke Saville – will represent Australia at Grand Slam events but flies the Russian flag at WTA tournaments until she officially changes allegiances after gaining residency.
Gavrilova will next meet Angelique Kerber after the German third seed downed Caroline Garcia of France 6-4 6-3.