Daria Gavrilova is an absorbing character on and off the court, never shying away from offering an opinion or harbouring ambitions.
The home charge is currently in Mastercard Hopman Cup action, preparing for the Australian Open in Melbourne later this month.
The world No.25 is hoping to replicate, but also surpass a 2017 that saw the 23-year-old clinch a maiden WTA title and break into the Top 20.
“Everyone has goals, I won’t hide mine, that I want to stay in the Top 20,” stated Gavrilova, who wants to play as the No.1 Aussie. “Hopefully Ash (Barty), Sam (Stosur) and I will have a little battle. It’s good to have those girls around to keep it competitive.”
Gavrilova opened her 2018 campaign in Perth with a straight sets victory over Eugenie Bouchard, before an enthralling two-hour 2-6 6-4 6-2 defeat at the hands of soaring Belgium Elise Mertens on Wednesday night.
“I have to look ahead and not too much on what happened today,” insisted the home favourite. “I definitely had a good pre-season, worked hard. Playing competitive matches is something different, it’s very mental. I’ll get back to it,” added the 2016 Hopman Cup champion.
“Luckily this tournament gives you more chances in a relaxed way and I’d love to win this again with Thanasi.”
— Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) January 3, 2018
Dasha has relished playing alongside fellow home charge Thanasi Kokkinakis: “He’s fun, pretty easy going,” said Gavrilova. “He’s pretty comfortable to play with, I’d like his serve.”
Australia can still qualify for Saturday’s silverware showdown, needing to triumph against the formidable German duo of Alxander Zverev and Angelique Kerber on Friday night, whilst also hoping other results go their way.
“I’m looking forward to it, but I’ll need to improve on today,” stated Gavrilova after facing Mertens. “That’s going to be a really physical match against Angie. She’s obviously very hungry for some wins.
“She probably didn’t have the best year last year, but she’s such a quality so it’s going to be really tough.”
Regardless of whether Australia do reach the final in Perth, Gavrilova is determined to utilise the optimum match practice available at Hopman Cup.
“Anyone going to the Australian Open is probably trying to win, everyone is coming out trying to get as far as possible,” declared Gavrilova. “Starting here, over the next few weeks I have to compete hard and see what happens.”
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