Gavrilova off to a winning start
Daria Gavrilova continued her love affair with the Australian Open with a three-set win over Naomi Broady.
Daria Gavrilova has continued her Australian Open love affair, scrambling into the second round with a hard-fought win over unheralded Brit Naomi Broady.
On the back of her fourth-round appearance last year, the 22-year-old Australian again proved the darling of Margaret Court Arena with a 3-6 6-4 7-5 victory on Tuesday night.
The 22nd seed next faces world No.36 Croatian Ana Konjuh.
Gavrilova struggled early on with the pace and accuracy of Broad’s serving.
The world No.97 collected 19 aces for the match, while her fastest serve was a stunning 192kph – 25 kilometres faster than Gavrilova’s best effort.
But the feisty Australian said she knew what to expect from her good friend, who she warmed up alongside on the same practice court.
And her composure during the match was what pleased her most.
Gavrilova said last year she was a “trouble-maker” and she now felt like a “grown-up woman”.
“I told my coaches that I was really happy about how I handled the first set loss,” Gavrilova said.
“I felt like I had chances and I was just trying to believe that I can still turn it around and win.”
Gavrilova said she was inspired by the efforts of fellow Australians like Jordan Thompson, who fought back from two sets down to move into the men’s second round.
Despite her memorable run last year, the Russian-born right-hander said she didn’t feel any weight of expectation.
“I didn’t feel the pressure,” she said.
“It was one match. Hopefully I can keep it going.”