Gavrilova feels she has nothing to lose

Daria Gavrilova says she has nothing to lose heading into her second round Australian Open showdown against sixth seed Petra Kvitova.

The young Australian was a first-round casualty at Melbourne Park last year but steamed ahead to a 7-6 (6-3) 6-4 win over Czech veteran Lucie Hradecka in her 2016 opener.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova will be a major step up on her 53-ranked compatriot but Gavrilova felt she had the form to beat anyone after starting the year with a Hopman Cup triumph.

Since the 2015 Open, the 21-year-old has rocketed up the rankings from world No.187 to 39th.

Gavrilova said she was a bundle of nerves against Hradecka but would feel much more at ease in her second appearance in front of a vocal home crowd.

“I think next round I will be a lot calmer,” Gavrilova said.

“I’ve got nothing to lose.”

Gavrilova almost toppled the world No.7 in China, leading 5-3 in the third set only for Kvitova to romp home 7-5.

“I got pretty close and was serving for it but then I lost the next four games in like two minutes,” Gavrilova said.

“She hits the ball pretty hard and has a good serve so I will have to work very hard and run a lot to survive all those big shots.”

The Russian-born player pulled out of the Sydney tournament with a recurring abdominal injury but moved well against Hradecka.

Kvitova was under a fitness cloud after also pulling out of Sydney with gastro but proved her recovery with a commanding 6-3 6-1 win over Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum.

The illness started during a tournament in Shenzhen in early January.

“First rounds are always very tough and for me it was my first match of the season so I’m really glad how I did,” Kvitova said.

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