Gavrilova shows fighting spirit in French Open victory
Daria Gavrilova moves into Roland Garros second round after a three-set victory over Romanian Sorana Cirstea.
Daria Gavrilova is known for her fighting spirit – and every bit of it was on display in a hard-fought French Open first round victory.
The No.24-seeded Australian recovered from an early deficit to defeat former Roland Garros quarterfinalist Sorana Cirstea 4-6 7-6(4) 6-3 in a two hour, 42-minute first round match.
Momentum swings defined the match – but in the end there was only four points difference. Gavrilova won 124 to Cirstea’s 120.
It is Gavrilova’s second career main draw victory at Roland Garros, matching her previous best result of a second round appearance in 2015.
“I battled the rain, my opponent, the nerves, so it’s pretty nice to get through. I feel a little bit relieved,” Gavrilova told AAP.
“I feel like clay is my best surface and I did put a lot of pressure on myself and I didn’t play great.
“It’s nice to get through and I thought I was pretty tough out there mentally.”
The No.24-seeded Australian now meets world No.73 American Bernarda Pera as she aims to advance to the round of 32 for the first time in Paris.
Australian wildcards Isabelle Wallace and Alex De Minaur did not follow Gavrilova into the second round, both beaten in straight sets in their opening round matches.
Wallace, making her Grand Slam debut, lost in 52 minutes to Belgian and former French Open quarterfinalist Alison Van Uytvanck 1-6 0-6.
De Minaur fought hard but was overclassed by No.16 seed and Australian Open 2018 semifinalist Kyle Edmund. The Brit posted a 6-2 6-4 6-3 victory, eliminating the last-remaining Australian hope in the men’s singles draw.
But John Peers made a winning start to his men’s doubles campaign, with the No.3 seed alongside Finnish partner Henri Kontinen posting a 6-3 6-2 victory over Belarusian-Russian combination Ilya Ivashka and Karen Khachanov.