Fresh from her fairytale Hopman Cup triumph newly-minted Aussie Daria Gavrilova says she can beat anyone in the form she’s in.
The 21-year-old’s confidence is sky-high after she started the year by helping Australia to its first title in 17 years, outplaying Ukrainian world No.19 Elina Svitolina in the final.
Gavrilova had a breakthrough year in 2015, moving from outside the top 150 to world No.36 and felt she could improve on last year’s Australian Open first round exit when she was still recovering from knee surgery.
“With the way I’m playing I can beat anyone and cause some upsets,” she said.
“I’ve probably had the best year of my tennis life last year; I played some great tennis and beat some amazing players so I’m really looking forward to be being back and playing here in front of a home crowd.
“Having those four matches and doubles (in Perth) was great for me and great for my confidence so I’m really ready to go.”
The Russian-born player, who received her Australian passport in November, said she had been embraced by the home crowd at the Hopman Cup and she hoped to enjoy similar support from fans in Melbourne.
“The support was overwhelming and I was a bit nervous at the start but I really loved the crowd.”
She acknowledged the burden Australia’s top female player Samantha Stosur carried in Melbourne, but said she had a way to go to reach Stosur’s status.
“Right now I get a bit of attention and I don’t mind it but I think Sam is a legend; she’s won a slam and made so many finals so I’m respecting her a lot.
“I don’t think I’m now the one.”
Gavrilova pulled out of this week’s Sydney tournament with a recurring abdominal injury but said it was more precautionary.
“I wasn’t ready to play on Monday and back-to-back matches in Sydney but I will be 100 per cent.”
She had spent the time training in Melbourne and was out hitting in the 40 degree heat-wave that hit the city on Wednesday.
“I loved being in Perth because it was so hot in Perth so I was training and I felt fine and I saw some other girls training and struggling and I was like `Yes’.