Melbourne, Australia, 1 February 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Destanee Aiava showed her fighting spirit to advance in Gippsland Trophy action at Melbourne Park today.

The 20-year-old from Melbourne powered through the opening set against France’s Chloe Paquet, but could not maintain her red-hot momentum. The No.187-ranked Paquet, who has qualified for Australian Open 2021, fought back to level their first-round match.

“I felt pretty good on court in the first set,” Aiava said. “(But) things fell away from me.”

It forced Aiava to dig deep, which she did, to close out a 6-1 4-6 6-4 victory after two hours and 20 minutes on court.

“I think I played as well as I could have,” Aiava said. “Tough first match. Obviously haven’t played in a while. But, yeah, I was just really excited to compete and get the win today.”

Aiava saved multiple break points on serve in both the seventh and ninth games of the deciding set. The Australian wildcard then sealed victory in a long and tense 10th game, doing so on her fifth match point.

It is only the fourth WTA-level main draw win of Aiava’s career and first since upsetting world No.10 Aryna Sabalenka at s-Hertogenbosch in June 2019.

“Every win’s a great feeling,” said the world No.218, who finished with 32 winners for the match.

Aiava next plays 16th-seeded German Laura Siegemund, who won their only previous meeting at an Australian Pro Tour event in Launceston in 2019.

“I’m looking forward to getting a rematch,” Aiava said. “I think I’m a lot better player this year.”

Aiava is the only remaining Australian woman in the Gippsland Trophy singles draw, with Ajla Tomljanovic bowing out today.

France’s Alize Cornet eliminated Tomljanovic in a three-set battle in their opening-round match at Margaret Court Arena.

In doubles action, Arina Rodionova and Storm Sanders combined to defeat fifth seeds and Australian Open 2019 champions Sam Stosur and China’s Zhang Shuai.



Women’s singles, first round
[WC] Destanee Aiava (AUS) d Chloe Paquet (FRA) 6-1 4-6 6-4
Alize Cornet (FRA) d Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 5-7 6-1 6-3

Women’s doubles, first round
Arina Rodionova (AUS)/Storm Sanders (AUS) d [5] Sam Stosur (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) 7-6(5) 6-3


Women’s singles, second round
[WC] Destanee Aiava (AUS) v [16] Laura Siegemund (GER)

> VIEW: Full Gippsland Trophy women’s singles draw

Women’s doubles, first round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)/Alison Riske (USA) v [8] Anna Blinkova (RUS)/Veronika Kudermetova (RUS)
[WC] Daria Gavrilova (AUS)/Simona Halep (ROU) v Belinda Bencic (SUI)/Barbora Strycova (CZE)
[WC] Abbie Myers (AUS)/Ivana Popovic (AUS) v Georgina Garcia Perez (ESP)/Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO)

> VIEW: Full Gippsland Trophy women’s doubles draw

Women’s doubles, second round
[WC] Destanee Aiava (AUS)/Astra Sharma (AUS) v [1] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)/Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
Arina Rodionova (AUS)/Storm Sanders (AUS) v TBD

Williams eliminates Gavrilova in Yarra Valley Classic

World No.11 Serena Williams proved too strong for Australia’s Daria Gavrilova in the second round of the Yarra Valley Classic.

The fifth-seeded American recorded a 6-1 6-4 victory at Margaret Court Arena today, not dropping serve in their 94-minute meeting.

Top seed Ash Barty, who had an opening-round bye, begins her campaign tomorrow against No.93-ranked Romanian Ana Bogdan.

In doubles action, Olivia Gadecki and Belinda Woolcock won an all-Aussie clash with fellow wildcards Jaimee Fourlis and Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz.



Women’s singles, second round
[5] Serena Williams (USA) d [WC] Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 6-1 6-4

Women’s doubles, first round
[WC] Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Belinda Woolcock (AUS) d [WC] Jaimee Fourlis (AUS)/Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (AUS) 6-3 7-5


Women’s singles, second round
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) v Ana Bogdan (ROU)

> VIEW: Full Yarra Valley Classic women’s singles draw

Women’s doubles, second round
[8] Ash Barty (AUS)/Jennifer Brady (USA) v TBD
[WC] Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Belinda Woolcock (AUS) v [4] Duan Yingying (CHN)/Zheng Saisai (CHN)

> VIEW: Full Yarra Valley Classic women’s doubles draw

Tickets for the Melbourne Summer Series, which begin from $20 for adults and $5 for children, are available through Ticketmaster. All events will be played within the Margaret Court Arena Zone at Melbourne Park.

TV GUIDE: How to watch the Melbourne Summer Series