Sunday, 22 January 2017

Gavrilova in fourth round again

Australia v Switzerland on Saturday night and starting two hours late thanks to some long day session matches.
Daria Gavrilova, the sole Aussie singles player left in the draw was facing up to Timea Bacsinszky, the 12th seed from Switzerland.

Bacsinszky served first and motored through without any drama, finishing with an ace.
Gavrilova followed suit with a love game, then from 40-0 Bacsinszky conspired to lose her serve, Gavrilova hitting a forehand winner on her fourth break point.
2-1 to the Aussie.

Another break came, this one much easier, in the fifth game, as Gavrilova showed no fear in playing the drop shot or overhead as part of her overall strategy.
She led 4-1 and Bacsinszky was on the back foot without an obvious means of addressing her problem.

Some backhand winners helped the 12th seed retrieve one of the breaks in the sixth game but she undid the good work directly in the following game and Gavrilova served for the opening set at 5-2.

No one appeared capable of holding serve for the time being and Bacsinszky stayed in contention, attacking the Australian forehand and producing enough error to break for 3-5.  It was just a stay of execution, though, and Gavrilova won the set 6-3, another backhand winner sealing the fourth successive break of the Swiss serve.

Gavrilova saved a break point in the opening game of set two, but couldn't fight off a determined Bacsinszky in the third game, who, with winners from both sides, broke to lead 2-1.
The break was held all the way to 5-4 where Bacsinszky served for the set.  At 15-30, two unforced errors cost her a break and games were 5-5.

Not taking advantage of being back with a chance in the set, Gavrilova lost the next game, mainly through poor forehands, and Bacsinszky had another opportunity to level the match.  Although taken to deuce thanks to a Gavrilova forehand winner, the job was eventually done 7-5.

In the decider Gavrilova served first and had 40-30 before a double fault and two ugly forehands gifted the break to Bacsinszky who was now sitting in the drivers seat 1-0.

The disappointed but always positive Gavrilova then rattled off four straight games, highlighted with winners from both backhand and forehand, and volleys and smashes, breaking the Swiss serve twice in the process.
It was a pleasure to witness the attack, considering it came right on top of dropping a set and serve.

In the eighth game, serving to stay in the match at 2-5, Bacsinszky threw in a double fault for 15-40 and Gavrilova had two match points.  Two big serves saved those and it was ultimately 5-3.

Serving for the match, Gavrilova saved one break point, but a Swiss backhand winner converted the second, and games were back on serve 4-5.
Momentum sharply back with Bacsinszky.

Credit to Gavrilova who constantly attacked, no matter what the situation, and she played one of the best games of the night at the very end to break Bacsinszky to love, finishing with a forehand volley winner, and advancing to the fourth round 6-3 5-7 6-4.

It doesn't become any easier, with 5th seed Karolina Pliskova next.

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