Gavrilova marches on in Moscow
Daria Gavrilova is through to the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup, and is on the verge of an Australian Open seeding.
Daria Gavrilova is on the verge of an Australian Open seeding after continuing her strong form in Moscow.
The Australian secured a quarterfinal berth in the Kremlin Cup after her Spanish opponent Carla Suarez Navarro retired from their second-round clash.
World No.37 Gavrilova was leading 6-4 3-0 when Suarez Navarro succumbed to a wrist injury.
Gavrilova is understood to require a quarterfinal win against seventh-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to boost her ranking into the top 32, which could deliver her a seeding at her home tournament in January.
She rallied against world No.12 Suarez Navarro after going down a break early in the first set.
Gavrilova produced several superb winners to hit back from 4-3 down with her opponent on serve to win the next six games of the match.
“I thought I played pretty well. It was a tough battle,” Gavrilova said.
“(There were) a few pretty tough games, I think we played the first four games for like 40 minutes, and then I found momentum.
“I lost my serve at the very beginning, but I felt like I was still in it and I had a lot of chances and then finally it all worked out.”
The result comes after recent upset wins over top-ranked Angelique Kerber in Hong Kong and Lucie Safarova in her previous match in Moscow.
“I feel very different to how I felt last year; I was really tired last year,” Gavrilova said.
“This year, I had a few days off after the US Open and regrouped and had my training in Melbourne and now I’m just enjoying the last few tournaments.”
It was a good day for Gavrilova on the doubles court, too; partnering Russian Daria Kasatkina, the pair advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2 6-2 win over Ukrainian twins Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok.
That result came a day after Gavrilova and Kasatkina upset No.1 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the first round.
The singles result has killed off Suarez Navarro’s hopes of qualifying for the WTA Finals.
Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova remains on course to claim the last WTA Finals place after she beat France’s Alize Cornet 6-4 7-5 in their second-round match.
The Russian was in strong form, landing 76 per cent of her first serves, and next plays Hungarian Timea Babos, seeded ninth.
Kuznetsova will qualify for the WTA Finals only if she wins the Kremlin Cup.
Otherwise, the final place goes to Britain’s Johanna Konta.
In other results, fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine eased past Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-2 6-2 and into the quarterfinals.
Svitolina next plays 18-year-old Croatian Ana Konjuh, who had a second-round walkover when Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova was unable to play.