Australian Open: Carla Suarez Navarro - Daria Gavrilova

Carla Suarez Navarro had a nightmare summer last year, losing in seven consecutive matches from just before Wimbledon, stretching to beyond the US Open, losing in R1 at two slams and two Masters events and top ten ranked players (she was #8 prior to that dire run) just do not do that ! Her overall slam record is not that good and in 28 main draw appearances, she has only made the quarters four times and never any further. She has steadied the ship with recent results, but since Rome last year, she is 0-6 versus top 20 players and 7-11 against anyone in the top 50, it is possible to pick holes in many of those seven wins too, with one retirement, three going the distance and the other three coming against opponents in very poor form. Gavrilova is one of the next wave of up and coming Russian players we touched upon earlier in the week, except that she has changed her nationality to Australian (1), something that went through last month, so all the home support will be on her side today. The 21yo is already ranked inside the top 40 and that will climb after this event, she loves hard courts and won the US Open as the #1 ranked junior in the world. She beat Petra Kvitova in R2 and followed up with a no less impressive 11-9 third set win over Kristina Mladenovic on Friday. After which she said “I’ve got nothing in my head. I’m just really excited and I want to hug the whole stadium, I just want to play again." I want to play again on Sunday, I’m just really happy, I can’t explain it.”

Already a "national hero" in double quick time after playing her part in winning the Hopman Cup, she can ride the momentum into the last eight against the very beatable Spanish player. The two have met once before in Tokyo late in 2014, CSN won 7-6 6-3 but it is fair to say the younger girl has been the big improver since, there were 11 breaks in that match and Gavrilova looks much more solid a server now.

Daria Gavrilova to beat Carla Suarez Navarro 2.10 general quote..............2.12 Pinnacle/Sportmarket