Australian Open R2: Daria Gavrilova vs (6) Petra Kvitova
A fascinating second round clash at Melbourne Park features newly adopted Australian Daria Gavrilova and Petra Kvitova. The Czech should be very wary of Daria heading into this match, an upset could be a real possibility here. Daria Gavrilova enters this match full of confidence after a great start to the year and will have the vocal Australian crowd on her side.
Daria Gavrilova seems to be thriving in her first Australian summer representing the green and gold. Gavrilova started the summer off on a high by claiming the Hopman Cup title alongside Nick Kyrgios. Dasha navigated her way through a dangerous first round clash with Lucie Hradecka, claiming a 7-6 6-4 victory on Margaret Court Arena. What stood out in this match was Gavrilova’s superior play under pressure, saving all 10 break points she faced.
Petra Kvitova’s preparation for the Australian Open has been less than ideal but Petra managed to make a reasonable start to her Australian Open campaign on Monday. Petra comfortably breezed past Lesia Kumkhum 6-3 6-1, avenging her embarrassing first round loss to Lesia at the Australian Open a couple of years ago.
The only previous encounter between the pair was an extremely close one, Kvitova prevailed 6-3 4-6 7-5 in Wuhan late last year. Gavrilova will take a lot of confidence from that match, knowing that she has the game to compete with Petra. I like the chances of an upset here; Gavrilova seems well positioned to compete at a high level here loves being an underdog whilst Kvitova has always struggled in Melbourne and rarely plays her best tennis at Melbourne Park.
Gavrilova’s preparation for Melbourne have been far better and she will head into this match feeling as though she has nothing to lose but also feeling very confident. This is a tough early round match-up for Kvitova, I suspect Gavrilova will frustrate Kvitova enough and extract enough errors to cause the upset here.