After spending a large portion of 2013 on crutches, Moscow native Daria Gavrilova overcame the odds and eventually succeeded in winning the Australian Open playoff event to receive a wildcard entry into the first Grand Slam of the season.
“I was just like ‘Oh, I wish I was playing, why did this happen to me?’ ” Gavrilova recalled after Sunday’s playoff finals win over Arina Rodionova guaranteed her main draw entry at Melbourne Park next month (via Sydney morning Herald). “But now I actually thought about it during my match, I was like ‘Oh, wow, you were on crutches last year, so c’mon, keep fighting, you can do it’. So that helped.”
Her effort is not to be taken mildly. She was required to undergo right knee construction and then forced onto the sidelines for a significant period of time. The US Open junior champion and former world No. 1 Junior had ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament in Taiwan and had to wait patiently until she had recovered. Her tournament victory is the result of hard work and dedication to the craft and to her recovery.
“I’m really happy,” said the graduate of Russia’s Spartak Tennis Club, more recent Carlton fan and Vegemite lover. “It’s unbelievable, and it just feels great that I won it, and I just feel like ‘Yeah, you deserve to be in the main draw of the Australian Open’.”
The 20-year-old Russian native, who is applying for Australian citizenship, will soon become the latest representative and prospect from the and down under. It will be interesting to see how she perform during the Australian Open in January.