Daria Gavrilova vs Irina Falconi: Australian Open live scores, blog

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    Australian Open Live Scores

    Womens Singles, 1st Round

    Melbourne, Australia

    Daria Gavrilova won in 2 sets

    Finished s1 s2
    Daria Gavrilova, AUS (23) 6 6
    Irina Falconi, USA 1 1

    She’s been the last Aussie standing at the last two Australian Opens, and Daria Gavrilova will be looking to kickstart a third successful tournament in a row when she takes on American qualifier Irina Falconi in the first round. Join The Roar for live scores, updates and analysis from approximately 9pm AEDT.

    Rising star Ashleigh Barty may have overtaken her as the top-ranked Australian female, but as the 23rd seed, and with an excellent record at her adopted home Slam, the diminutive one-time Russian is arguably still Australia’s best hope of going deep into the tournament.

    A pair of fourth-round finishes in 2016 and 2017 at Melbourne Park entrenched her as a fan favourite, but they’re still the only times she’s made it past the second round at any of the majors, indicating she’s still a way off mixing it with the very best in the business.

    Still, her form leading up to the tournament has been impressive, reaching the semi-final of the Sydney International before losing to countrywoman Barty, and in front of a normally vocal crowd at Rod Laver Arena, she can expect the lion’s share of the support from the stands.

    Her opponent, little-known American Irina Falconi, is somehow even shorter than Gavrilova, and at just 163 centimetres (5 feet 4 inches), fans sitting near the back of the arena may struggle to even see her during the match.

    What they can’t fail to observe, however, is a splendid run of wins leading into the biggest tournament of her career, the 27-year old cantering through three straight-sets qualifying matches, dropping just 12 games in total – and six of those were in one tie-break set in Game 2.

    She’s tasted victory at the last four Australian Opens, but in all of them has bowed out in the second round, and with the clock ticking on her tennis prime, the American would dearly love a rare deep entry into a major tournament.

    With good form, support from the crowd and a history of performing well at Melbourne Park, it’s hard to go past Gavrilova in this one. It would be a career victory for Falconi, but she’d have to play out of her skin to pull it off.

    Gavrilova in straight sets

    The tournament only gets tougher for Gavrilova from here on in, with 12th-seeded German Julia Goerges a potential third-round match-up, and with the still-mighty Venus Williams in her part of the draw, “Dasha” can ill afford any slip-ups costing her precious momentum in the early rounds.

    Can the adopted Aussie give the crowd something to cheer and make her way into the second round? Or will the unknown American spoil the party?

    Tune into The Roar’s live coverage from approximately 9pm (AEDT) and be sure to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

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    The Crowd Says (29)

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

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 10:26pm | ! Report

      Well, that’s it from me this evening. Thanks for your company! Daria Gavrilova through to the second round of the Australian Open with a dominant 6-1, 6-1 win over American qualifier Irina Falconi. She’ll play Belgian Elise Mertens in the second round on Wednesday.

      I’ll be on again tonight for Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka. Be sure to keep an eye on our coverage of Alex De Minaur, Roger Federer and everyone else tomorrow. Goodnight!

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 10:22pm | ! Report

      Aaand Basil Zempilas just asked a My Kitchen Rules-related question. That’s my cue to switch off.

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 10:21pm | ! Report

      “I’m not putting expectations on myself,” Gavrilova says. “All I do is go out and fight every point.”

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 10:20pm | ! Report

      “Thanks for staying up,” Gavrilova says to all the fans.

      “At one point, I wasn’t too happy with some of them [her support base] going outside and taking a piss,” she laughs. “But they needed to go.” Don’t we all?

      • Roar Guru

        Scott Pryde said | 10:23pm | ! Report

        I’m pretty sure she gives the best interviews in tennis. Deadset though, how awkward was that.

        “I’m pretty sure the My Kitchen Rules guys aren’t Russian.”

        Basil was just… Err, what do I say.

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 10:18pm | ! Report


      Daria Gavrilova defeats Irina Falconi 6-1, 6-1.

      Another break, her seventh of the match, and that’s it for Gavrilova!

      The crowd groans as Gavrilova sends a forehand return wide. 15-0

      Now it’s Falconi’s turn to err as she sends her backhand into the net. 15-15

      Excellent again from Gavrilova, she pushes Falconi deep behind the baseline before trying a well-placed drop shot, the American gets there but can only lob a weak return, and Dasha pulverises the backhand winner down the line! 15-30

      And match points now for the Aussie as she slices down the line, Falconi goes for a cross-court pass as Gavrilova goes up to the net but sends it wide. 15-40

      Gavrilova goes wide and deep on the return but it just goes wide, she challenges but it’s out by about half a millimetre! Eagle-eyed linesman vindicated. 30-40

      But she doesn’t need another chance, the pair trade groundstrokes before a backhand return from Falconi is just too short, and Dasha steps up and hammers an inside-out forehand for a winner, roaring in triumph as she does so! An emphatic win for the Aussie, and a perfect start for her Open campaign.

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 10:14pm | ! Report


      Gavrilova 5-1 Falconi

      Gavrilova puts plenty of power into her forehands again, and Falconi can’t handle it as she sends a stretched forehand into the net. 15-0

      Some luck finally for the American as Gavrilova’s cross court forehand kisses the net, lobs up, and lands just outside the line. 15-15

      Falconi trying more ambitious shots now, but this one doesn’t pay off as she goes for the baseline with a swinging backhand down the line but it goes long. 30-15

      Gavrilova sees Falconi deep in the court, tries a drop shot but Falconi’s onto it in a flash, she just can’t get to it quickly enough to hammer a winner so has to lob, and Gavrilova covers it and smashes into open court. 40-15

      And a wide serve does the trick for Dasha, Falconi can’t return and the Aussie is now just one game away.

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 10:11pm | ! Report


      Gavrilova 4-1 Falconi

      Dasha breaks right back, and Falconi is 0 and 6 from her service games tonight.

      Double fault from Falconi as she sends a second serve long; she can’t afford mistakes like those now. 0-15

      Gavrilova keeps Falconi well behind the baseline with some heavy hitting, and it pays off as the American eventually sends a forehand into the net. 15-15

      Falconi errs as she comes into the net before sending a smash right to Gavrilova, but the Aussie can only lob and she makes amends on the second attempt, slicing a winner into open court. 30-15

      Gavrilova roars in triumph as she sends a brilliant inside-out forehand past a wrong-footed Falconi. 30-30

      Good wide first serve and then a nice return sets up the point from Falconi, but Gavrilova comes into the net and Falconi tries a lob, but it goes just long. 30-40

      Gavrilova defends grimly as Falconi sends her racing around the court, but she can’t do much about a powerful cross-court winner. 40-40

      Break points again for Dasha as she sends a backhand winner down the line to the cheers of the crowd. 40-AD

      And she’s still looking for that first hold of serve tonight as she sends a second serve well wide. Poor tennis there; you can’t afford to be missing second serves when you’re a set and a break down.

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 10:05pm | ! Report


      Gavrilova 3-1 Falconi

      Falconi finally on the board in the second set, and breaks a run of nine straight games for the Aussie.

      Fourth double fault from Dasha as her second serve kisses the net. 0-15

      Gavrilova looks a little frustrated here as she sends a forehand wide. She’s just taken her foot off the pedal here. 0-30

      But gets it right back on again with a powerful winner down the line. 15-30

      Break points for Falconi, and a chance for her first game since the opening one tonight, as Gavrilova sends a return into the net. 15-40

      And she gets it, some good defence from the baseline keeps Falconi in the game, and Gavrilova eventually slices a backhand into the net.

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 10:00pm | ! Report


      Gavrilova 3-0 Falconi

      Nine straight games for Dasha, and a second break in the set.

      Strong groundstrokes from both players, but Gavrilova cracks first as she sends a forehand long. 15-0

      Falconi coming up to the net more often now, she does well on a low volley to go wide of Gavrilova, she can lob but not much else and Falconi gently nudges a winner into the open court. 30-0

      Falconi again errs with a lack of height, sending a forehand into the net. 30-15

      Again the American nets a simple forehand, and Gavrilova’s back in the game. 30-30

      Luck for Gavrilova! And again the American has none. A low backhand hits the top of the tape, lobs up, and finds the American’s court! Happened twice earlier to Falconi, and twice she had no luck with it. 30-40

      And it costs her in the end, a short second serve is given the treatment by Dasha as she hammers a backhand winner down the line.

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