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» US Open: Daria Gavrilova confident of beating Maria Sharpova for second time this year
US Open: Daria Gavrilova confident of beating Maria Sharpova for second time this year
DARIA Gavrilova has already beaten Maria Sharapova this year.
And she is confident of doing it again on the game’s biggest stage when the duo face off in an intriguing first-round clash at the US Open.
The Russian-born 21-year-old - who now enthusiastically calls Australia home - has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past eight months.
She started the year ranked 236 in the world. Now she sits at 37.
And much of that rise can be attributed to the straight-sets dismissal of Sharapova at the Miami Masters in March.
She has also beaten Sam Stosur, Lucie Safarova and Sara Errani in recent weeks and Sharapova - who pulled out of the recent Cincinnati Masters due to a leg injury - knows she is in for a tough fight.
“We’ve gone back and forth with our results this year,” she said.
“She beat me in Miami and I had a good win against her in Rome. She’s a really good opponent.”
Sharapova admitted she’d had a tough year.
“I’ve had to make adjustments throughout the year and it only gets tougher as you get older, of course,” she said.
Gavriolva found it hard to hide her excitement as the match drew closer.
“I (beat her) once. I’m pretty confident I can do it again. I’m just going to get out there and do the same thing I did in Miami,” she said.
“I’m pretty positive. I’m pretty lucky I get to play Maria first round, where some players need to win a few matches to get to play someone like her.”
Gavrilova has lived in Australia for five years but as a child idolised fellow Russian Sharapova.
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