Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Kvitova Upset by Gavrilova

Daria aka Dasha Gavrilova had done well to win her opening match at the Australian Open and while her second round opponent is a double Wimbledon champion, her hopes of contributing a competitive performance were realistic given her form over the summer thus far.

Kvitova has fought off illness and she showed no sign of it lingering during her straight sets first round win, and she should expect to be victorious in this Margaret Court Arena clash tonight.

Gavrilova opened the contest with her first set of deliveries and courtesy of a few unforced errors from Kvitova serve was held.  Petra hit two ripper forehand winners and served fairly well yet still was taken to deuce before squaring the set at 1-1.

Dasha did well to hold again despite a double fault and a Kvitova backhand gem halting her progress somewhat.  Petra played several forehand winners but Dasha forced her to deuce again.  The sixth seed negotiated the danger and it became 2-2.

Three double faults in succession from 40-30 was enough to break Dasha's serve and Petra inherited a 3-2 lead.  However two netted backhands, two wide forehands and a double fault for good measure were enough to render the break advantage worthless.  3-3

The errors continued to flow in the next game but off the Gavrilova racquet instead and Petra was the break beneficiary once more.  4-3 to the Czech star.  

It all became a disaster from that point for the dual Wimbledon champ who lost the next 12 points, all but one with errors on her part and most unforced.

The Aussie took the set 6-4 and Petra needed something special to retrieve the situation.

Dasha opened set two brightly but Petra forced a deuce before the serve was held and Dasha led 1-0.  Petra had found her range to some extent and this was reflected in an easy service hold to level at 1-1.

Dasha continued to impress on serve and a backhand winner, together with a forehand forcing shot causing error, sealed a 2-1 advantage.  A backhand winner highlighted Petra's successful effort to reach 2-2 and the match appeared alive.

Dasha struggled in the fifth game, needing to save a break point due to forehand issues.  She overcame the problem and an ace capped off tHe game for a 3-2 lead.

Petra's next catastrophe came in the sixth game.  Beginning with double faults and ending with forehand mishaps, the break arrived to Dasha's clear and loud delight.  The unseeded Aussie led 4-2 and the sixth seed appeared lethargic at best, perhaps feeling the effects of her recent illness.

Winners from both wings were stand out moments in the seventh game which took Gavrilova to the edge of victory 5-2.

Petra survived another deuce game to make it 3-5 and Dasha now had the opportunity to serve for a third round spot.

A netted forehand from the Kvitova racquet presented the first match point to Gavrilova but she fell victim to nerves and lost the next three points, the final two finding the net.  Petra was back on serve at 4-5.

However the chance just given Petra was quickly wasted as the sixth seed committed a series of errors from both sides and threw in a double fault, ensuring a break of serve and victory to Dasha Gavrilova 6-4 6-4.

Sad to see Kvitova playing well below her best, but equally satisfying to watch Gavrilova grab her opportunity and play some quality tennis when needed, irrespective of her opponents level of play.

Who knows how far the Aussie can progress now that she has inherited the sixth seed position in the draw.

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