Gavrilova eyes Open quarter-finals

Daria Gavrilova is promising to wear her heart on her sleeve all the way to the Australian Open quarter-finals at Melbourne Park.

Australia’s new tennis princess is confident she has the game to continue her giant-killing ways with a fourth-round conquest of Spanish 10th seed Carla Suarez Navarro on Sunday.

The irrepressible youngster also has no plans to tone down the fist pumps or lose the strut after winning over fans during her captivating summer run.

“You don’t want to be in my head. I am very emotional,” Gavrilova said after backing up her second-round stunner against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova with a thrilling three-set victory over French seed Kristina Mladenovic on Friday night.

“I mean, you can see all my emotions. I get frustrated with myself and I guess I show it. Sometimes I shouldn’t be. When I’m happy, I guess I show it as well.

“I don’t know, I’m just emotional.”

Not just emotional; pretty damn good as well.

A former US Open junior champion, the 21-year-old soared to prominence with successes against ex-world No.1s Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic in 2015 before opening the new season with Hopman Cup glory in Perth with Nick Kyrgios.

Granted citizenship in November, Gavrilova is now a win away from becoming the first Australian since Jelena Dokic seven years ago to reach the last eight of the women’s singles at Melbourne Park.

The 11th-ranked Navarro – who won the pair’s only previous meeting 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 on a Tokyo hard court in 2014 – holds no fears for the free-swinging ball of energy.

“I think it’s not a bad match-up for me,” Gavrilova said.

“She’s not a big server, so I think we’ll have long rallies and I don’t mind it at all. I’ll have a bit more time.

“But she’s completely different to all opponents I played against just in this Oz Open.

“I don’t feel any pressure, but I really want to keep going and keep winning.”

Nor does Gavrilova have any fitness concerns despite her epic 6-4 4-6 11-9 triumph over Mladenovic stretching nine minutes short of three hours and finishing just before 11pm.

“I didn’t feel like it was three hours at all,” Gavrilova said.

“We didn’t have long rallies so I felt like I could just keep going if I needed to.

“So I’m feeling fine … I’m not too worried. I’ve had a great training block, so I’m ready.”

Victory over Suarez Navarro would catapult Gavrilova into a showdown on Tuesday with either Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska or German Anna-Lena Friedsam for a spot in the final four.


2014, Tokyo, hard, R16 Suarez Navarro 7-6 (7-5) 6-3


Age: 27

Ranking: 11

Plays: right-handed (one-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US6,317,840 ($A9.05 million)

Career titles: 1

Career win-loss record: 403-254

Grand slam titles: 0

Australian Open win-loss record: 15-7

Best Australian Open result: quarter-finalist 2009


Age: 21

Ranking: 39

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US793,369 ($A1.08 million)

Career titles: 0

Grand slam titles: 0

Career win-loss record: 159-113

Australian Open win-loss record: 4-2

Best Australian Open result: fourth round 2015

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