Australian Open R1: Daria Gavrilova vs Lucie Hradecka
Daria Gavrilova will be representing Australia for the very first time at Melbourne Park in 2016. The newly adopted Australian arrives in Melbourne in great form and full of confidence after helping guide Australian to Hopman Cup success in Perth. Gavrilova will begin her Australian Open campaign with a first round clash against Lucie Hradecka on Monday.
Gavrilova made a perfect start to 2016, guiding Australia to the Hopman cup title alongside Nick Kyrgios. Gavrilova won 3 of her 4 singles matches during the event, including victories over Sabine Lisicki, Heather Watson and most notably a 6-4 7-6 victory over Elina Svitolina in the final. Gavrilova seemingly won over the Australian public by showing great determination in all of her matches. It will be interesting to see how far Gavrilova goes in her first Australian Open campaign representing Australia, early indications suggest that she will thrive under these circumstances with the Australian crowd right behind her.
Lucie Hradecka has made a poor start to the season, failing to advance past the first round in both Auckland and Sydney. Hradecka was thumped by Julia Goerges in the first round in Hobart before managing to reach the main draw in Sydney as a lucky-loser. Hradecka’s main draw journey didn’t last long, suffering a comprehensive 2-6 1-6 loss to Ekaterina Makarova. Hradecka will however bring great memories into this event, having fought through qualifying before shocking Ana Ivanovic in the first round last year in Melbourne.
This will be the first career meeting between Gavrilova and Hradecka. This is an interesting match-up because the two are almost polar opposites. Gavrilova is one of the best movers on tour and brings a lot of variety to the court whilst Hradecka Is a tall, powerful hitter. Gavrilova should ultimately be too classy for Hradecka, I highly doubt Hradecka has the ability to consistently hit through a determined Gavrilova who run down ball after ball and really frustrate Hradecka.