She’s among the hottest players on tour, but Daria Gavrilova is modestly playing down her chances of a French Open charge.
Australian tennis’s latest catch is savouring her maiden win at Roland Garros after continuing her breakout season in Paris with a 6-1 7-6 (7-3) triumph over Swede Johanna Larsson on Monday.
The victory backed up the Russian-born 21-year-old’s stunning wins this season over reigning French Open champion Maria Sharapova in Miami and former Roland Garros titleholder Ana Ivanovic in Rome.
“I got a bit tired in the second set,” Gavrilova said.
“I mean, that’s fair enough. It’s my first French Open main-draw match, but I’m very happy with the win.”
Ranked 46th with a bullet, the former top-ranked junior next plays explosive German Sabine Lisicki, the 2013 Wimbledon runner-up and tournament’s 20th seed.
“I’m pretty confident with the way I’m playing, but she’s someone who can have a great day and can beat anyone,” Gavrilova said.
“Hopefully she’s not going to have one of those days.”
When reminded that her slaying of Sharapova and Ivanovic proves she too is capable of beating anyone, the giggling Gavrilova said: “Yeah, but I’m the one who just fights and she can just kill you.”
Coach Nicole Pratt said staying grounded was important for the rising star, who hopes to be granted citizenship in November so she can represent Australia permanently rather than only at the four grand slam events.
“To be honest, we framed this whole year about just gaining experience,” Pratt said.
“Everything is new to her. Everything’s exciting and part of that is trying to manage that excitement and put that into perspective.
“So honestly, it might be a cliche, but what I’ve been working on with Dasha is just trying to get better each day, trying to do something better each day.
“If she does that, then results will take care of themselves.”