Monday, 25 January 2016

Carla survives Dasha excitement

Dasha Gavrilova had already knocked out 6th seed Petra Kvitova and many were touting her as favourite to defeat 10th seed Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in the fourth round.  This was to probably become a little too excited too early about Dasha and the fact that she was the only Aussie left in the women's draw, and also forgetting that Carla is an experienced and quality player and not one to underestimate.

However early evidence suggestsd that maybe we would see an Australian quarter finalist after all.

Dasha began with a forehand winner and won the opening game 1-0.  Carla double faulted, and a winning volley gave Dasha two break points.  She broke serve on the second with a forehand smash and led 2-0.  That became 3-0 after an easy service hold.

Carla was in deep trouble once Dasha broke again, this time to love, her winners coming with ease.  At 0-40 on the next Dasha serve, Carla appeared to be coming back into the match.  However Dasha denied the 10th seed any of the chances and led 5-0.  No one had foreseen this scoreline.

The set was complete with two unforced errors from Carla in her third service game where she was broken once more.  Dasha took the set amazingly 6-0.

Gavrilova found strife in the first game of set two at 15-40.  She saved the two break points and led
1-0.  Carla finally scored a game, but only after surviving another two break points and relying on Australian errors. 1-1.  Dasha held and edged ahead 2-1.  Carla began to play with more freedom and a forehand winner and ace ensured an easy hold of serve and a 2-2 situation.

Dasha's forehand was astray in the fifth game and a single break point was all that Carla needed to clinch the lead 3-2.  The 10th seed then consolidated the break, saving a break point and winning the game with two winners. 4-2

At 3-5, and serving to stay in the set, Dasha saved one set point but not the second and Carla had levelled the match at a set apiece 0-6 6-3.

Back to hitting winners Dasha broke serve immediately in the deciding set to lead 1-0.  Then at 0-30 and 15-40 Dasha had to draw on all of her resolve.  She saved two break points to be at deuce.  Three more break points came and went and finally an ace won the long game for Dasha.  2-0 and now the favourite once more to win.

At 30-40 Dasha had a chance for the double break but a loose backhand released Carla to hold serve and it was 1-2.  From there is was an Aussie nightmare.  Carla broke serve, Dasha's double fault and myriad mistakes contributing well.  Carla served a love game to now lead 3-2.

From 40-15 Dasha lost four successive points and lost serve again to be down 2-4 and emotionally in deep trouble.  Calmly the 10th seed just outplayed the Aussie and held her serve easily for 5-2.  Dasha had run her race and the eighth game was no surprise, backhand errors aplenty from Dasha before a forehand winner from Carla sealed the match for her.

Carla Suarez Navarro won 0-6 6-3 6-2 and will face Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter finals.

Daria 'Dasha' Gavrilova did some terrific things at this year's Aus Open and can learn a lot from the experience, more from the loss than the wins.  She needs to rein in her emotions or she will lose focus as she did tonight.

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