Daria Gavrilova vs Donna Vekić: Sydney International tennis live scores, blog

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    Daria Gavrilova vs Donna Vekić

    2017 Sydney International

    Show Court 1, Sydney Olympic Park
    Daria Gavrilova Donna Vekić
    2 SCORE 0
    6 1st Set 3
    7 (7) 2nd Set 6 (1)

    Budding Australian star Daria Gavrilova will be looking to get her 2017 season up and running when she does battle with Croatian Donna Vekić in the first round of the Sydney International. Join The Roar from around 5pm (AEDT) for all the coverage and analysis from the match.

    Samantha Stosur has long been the undisputable top dog of the Australian women’s tennis scene, but the girl they call ‘Dasha’ is closing in fast. Currently, she sits just four places behind her decade-older counterpart at 25th in the world, and a successful Australian summer could well see Stosur lose her crown for the first time in eight years.

    But Gavrilova hasn’t exactly started off 2017 in peak form, with uncharacteristic unforced errors and general sluggishness attracting plenty of scrutiny in her Hopman Cup defeats to Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena and Czech Lucie Hradecka.

    A three-set triumph over American Coco Vandeweghe on Thursday night landed her her first victory of 2017, but the dynamic 22-year-old still looked short of a gallop and will be hoping for a fresh start in Sydney to regain her form in the lead-up to the Australian Open.

    Her opponent, 20-year-old Vekić, is probably best known in Australian circles as the subject of Nick Kyrgios’ controversial mid-match sledge to Stan Wawrinka in a Rogers Cup match in 2015, but the World No.99 has plenty of time on her side to make her mark on the world tennis scene.

    Vekić’s 2016 campaign was a disappointing one, netting just four wins from 21 WTA appearances and never advancing past the second round in a tournament, so she will be hoping 2017 ushers in more successful times.

    She has never featured in a minor tournament in this country, and with her only victory on Australian soil coming in the 2013 Australian Open, she is yet to capture the attention of the Australian tennis-loving public on the field.

    Prediction
    Gavrilova looked to have recaptured some of her mojo in her Hopman Cup win over Vandeweghe, and she should be too strong for Vekić as she looks to find some form before the Australian Open.

    Gavrilova in two sets.

    Be sure to tune into The Roar from 5pm (AEDT) for live coverage of the first day of the Sydney International, and remember to leave your thoughts, analysis and witty banter in the comments section below.

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    The Crowd Says (164)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • Roar Guru

      9:14pm
      Tim Miller said | 9:14pm | ! Report

      Daria Gavrilova emerges triumphant over Donna Vekic 6-3, 7-6 (6-1). On paper, it looks a resounding win. And for the first set and a half, it was. But then came the rain break, and with it went Gavrilova’s form. From there, it was a question of who would make the first unforced error. Gavrilova gave up a break and had to fight tooth and nail to hold serve of her own, but some more misses from Vekic saw it through to a tie-break. And there, there were some more Vekic mistakes as Gavrilova simply kept the ball in better.

      In the end, it was a match of two halves. Gavrilova will undoubtedly be pleased with her performance in the first set and early in the second. Her forehand game was strong and her movement on the court was back to something near her best. But she very nearly capitulated in the second part of that second set, looking very much like the Gavrilova of the Hopman Cup as she sent balls left and right, but only occasionally centre. In that regard, she was probably lucky Vekic couldn’t put her away. She made mistakes like nobody’s business tonight, and in the end, her mistakes outweighed Gavrilova’s.

      That’s it from me tonight. A fairly uninspiring finish, but Gavrilova’s form in that first set should hold her in good stead. For the Croat, she can at least take some heart from having fought it out to the death, and a period late in the first set when she managed to match Gavrilova stroke for stroke. But aside from that, she looked pretty ordinary.

      Goodnight all, and thanks for tuning in! Be sure to check out Riley’s blog of the Fast4 match between Nick Kyrgios and Rafa Nadal. For me at least, it’s curtains.

    • Roar Guru

      9:13pm
      Scott Pryde said | 9:13pm | ! Report

      Too good from Dasha! Hope she can continue her form. Thanks for the call Tim.

    • Roar Guru

      9:09pm
      Tim Miller said | 9:09pm | ! Report

      And that’ll do it! Excellent point from Gavrilova, has Vekic on the ropes before forcing her to lob, and Dasha puts the smash away with ease! A winner finishes it, perhaps not the best encapsulation of the last half-hour but the Australian will take it!

      Gavrilova 6-1

    • Roar Guru

      9:08pm
      Tim Miller said | 9:08pm | ! Report

      5 match points for Gavrilova as Vekic sends another shot long.

    • Roar Guru

      9:07pm
      Tim Miller said | 9:07pm | ! Report

      We have a winner! A rarity in this match so far. Vekic comes up to the net having bossed the point so far, but hits straight to Gavrilova on the baseline. Her passing backhand goes very, very close to the line, but it’s called in!

      Gavrilova 5-1 Vekic

    • Roar Guru

      9:06pm
      Tim Miller said | 9:06pm | ! Report

      Aaaand we have another unforced error! Vekic again, some baseline slugging before Vekic looks for the winner with an inside-out forehand that sails wide! Double break for Gavrilova now.

      Gavrilova 4-1 Vekic

    • Roar Guru

      9:05pm
      Tim Miller said | 9:05pm | ! Report

      Intriguing rally and another mistake, this time a backhand that sails just long (late call by the linesman too) allows Dasha to restore the mini-break she lost.

      Gavrilova 3-1 Vekic

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