Rising star Daria Gavrilova is angry, and that could be good news as she desperately attempts to rediscover her mojo in time for the Australian Open.
Gavrilova’s summer has started in disappointing fashion, losing her first two Hopman Cup singles matches to leave Australia’s title defence in tatters.
The world No.25 committed a glut of unforced errors in a shock 7-5 6-1 loss to Lara Arruabarrena on Sunday.
And Gavrilova coughed up an early lead in her 4-6 6-4 6-4 loss to world No.166 Lucie Hradecka on Tuesday night.
Australia’s losses to Spain and the Czech Republic ended their hopes of Hopman Cup glory.
It was in stark contrast to last summer, where Gavrilova and Nick Kyrgios combined to end Australia’s 17-year Hopman Cup title drought.
That success in front of adoring fans gave Gavrilova plenty of confidence, and she went on to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open a few weeks later.
Gavrilova is the first to admit her current form isn’t up to scratch.
But she says the pain associated with her poor Hopman Cup displays could actually end up being a good thing.
“Losing hurts,” Gavrilova said.
“And I actually play better the next tournament if I lose, because really I hate losing.
“I get very angry and yell at everyone when I lose.
“I’m not the best to be around when I lose. The next day I just work harder and I get better like that.”
Gavrilova, who will play in the Sydney International before the Australian Open, said her bad form was probably because of mental lapses, rather than any physical issues.
“It’s pretty disappointing. I’m still not playing my great tennis. But like I said before, I’m not too worried,” Gavrilova said.
“I think it’s more mentally than anything else. Matches are very different to training. I just have to work on it.
“Obviously the Australian Open is my biggest goal. So I’m still working through a lot of other things like gym and fitness. But it’s great for me being here getting three guaranteed matches at the Hopman Cup.”
Gavrilova will be back in action on Thursday night when she takes on world No.36 Coco Vandeweghe in Australia’s clash with the US.
The US, who also boast rising star Jack Sock, are already through to Saturday night’s final after sweeping Spain and the Czech Republic 3-0 in their opening two ties.