Indian Wells, CA, United States, 7 March 2019 | tennis.com.au
Daria Gavrilova has battled through to the second round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells with a resonant victory over Dayana Yastremska.
Gavrilova stopped the in-form Ukrainian youngster 6-2 5-7 6-2 to win her first match of the 2019 season.
The victory, completed in two-and-a-half hours, snaps a seven-match losing streak dating back to Moscow’s Kremlin Cup in October 2018.
Gavrilova will next face 29th seed Mihaela Buzarnescu, who beat the Aussie last week in Acapulco.
> ORDER OF PLAY: Thursday 7 March
Yastremska is one of the game’s most promising young players; the 18-year-old won the WTA tournament in Hua Hin, Thailand last month and in January reached the third round of the Australian Open after a quarterfinal run at the Hobart International.
She had won 10 of her 14 matches in 2019 heading into her match with Gavrilova, and won the first two games to open a 2-0 lead in the first set.
Yet Gavrilova responded with a run of six straight games to take the opening set, and recovered from 2-4 down in the second to find herself serving for the match at 5-4.
She couldn’t complete the task, and Yastremska began finding the court more often with her powerful blows from the baseline.
She ripped through three straight games against an increasingly passive Gavrilova, and sent the match to a final set.
Here, the Australian re-settled, building a 4-0 lead and holding points to extend that margin to 5-0.
Yastremska held serve in that game, broke for 4-2, and held a game point to tighten scores to 4-3. But Gavrilova dug in, broke serve, and pumped her fist.
She could see the finish line, and when serving for the match a second time, she made no mistake.
On Thursday (local time) at Indian Wells, Ajla Tomljanovic, Sam Stosur, Priscilla Hon, John Millman, Matt Ebden and Jordan Thompson will all play their singles matches, while Stosur resumes her Australian Open-winning doubles partnership with Zhang Shuai.
Ash Barty will also feature in doubles action, partnering Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.