While Juan Martin del Potro’s early departure from the Miami draw was understandable given his injury layoff, the WTA tour saw a shocking upset on Thursday night when Daria Gavrilova ousted second seed Maria Sharapova in the second round of the tournament.
Ranked No. 97 on the tour, the Russian wildcard took command of the contest early on, as she found a break while up 4-3 and closed out the opening set in one hour and eight minutes. However, the second set was more of a breeze, as she cruised to a 3-0 lead before finishing the match 7-6(4), 6-3.
It was undoubtedly one of the best performances of her career.
“She runs a lot of balls down,” Sharapova said. “I was committing a lot of errors off of those balls and not really staying patient, and maybe going for too many winners but not moving forward enough. Of course it’s a bit of a surprise. It’s the first round. I’m expected to win. But that’s why we play the matches – you still have to go out and win it, no matter if you’re the favorite. Today I didn’t.”
Gavrilova was once the No. 1 ranked junior but soon suffered an ACL injury and missed a large portion of the 2014 season. She is finally showing sign of the form she once possessed and it will be interesting to see if this will impact her momentum going forward.
“I still can’t realize that it’s my dream – I have been dreaming about beating Maria since I was probably 12, when I saw her win Wimbledon, when she beat Serena,” Gavrilova said afterwards. “I was like, ‘Oh, I really want to play her and beat her.’ I’ve probably been visualizing beating her since I was 12.