“I am proud I play for Australia.” 10 facts about Darya Gavrilova - Maria Sharapova’s offender

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For the first time in 12 years Maria Sharapova failed to reach the third round of WTA Miami; on Friday night she lost to Darya Gavrilova. SOVSPORT.RU found 10 interesting facts about the offender of the Russian tennis prima.

1. DASHA MADE HER DREAM COME TRUE

- I still can’t believe it! I wanted to defeat Maria since I was 12; since I watched her win over Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final. Then I thought: “I really want to play against her on the court and defeat.”

Here are the words of Dasha after her sensational success in Miami. However, judging by these words, Gavrilova is not so good at mathematics: in 2004, when Sharapova won Wimbledon, Darya was only 10.

2. DASHA IS AT HER PEAK

Gavrilova was ranked No. 97 before the tournament. It’s her best career result. She got into the Top-100 thanks to her reaching Indian Wells R2. By the way, the victory over Sharapova is the first win over players from the WTA Top-10 for Gavrilova.

3. DASHA WAS RANKED FIRST

Of course we are talking about the junior rankings. Five years ago, Darya was really considered the strongest junior tennis player in the world. She won the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (2010) and the Junior US Open. In addition, together with the Russian team Gavrilova twice won the Junior Fed Cup (2009, 2010).

4. DASHA REFUSED PLAYING IN THE NATIONAL TEAM

To be more precisely, she was not included into the team to play the Fed Cup final (not junior one) in 2013. It was when the Russian team played without its leaders and lost to Italy. So, Dasha angrily declared that it was she who refused playing in the national team.

“Before the Kremlin Cup I was not even considered a player of the national team level. I was not allowed to practice. If the Russian Tennis Federation was so worried about my progress, they could have given me a wild card for the Kremlin Cup. However, they prefer Anastasiya Bukhanko and Kseniya Pervak. By the way, they have not the right to play in the national team for the next two years,” she twitted.

Perhaps that conflict was the reason for Gavrilova to change her sports citizenship.

5. DARYA IS PROUD TO PLAY FOR AUSTRALIA

Yes, I wrote that in August last year: “I am proud to represent Australia in the US Open.” Russian fans were shocked by that statement.

By the way, Gavrilova can represent Australia only in ITF tournaments (in particular, in Fed Cup and Grand Slam tournaments). The WTA has other rules for changing sport citizenship, so in the world rankings Darya is still a Russian tennis player.

6. DASHA IS NOT A BIG LOSS FOR RUSSIAN TENNIS

The tweet “I am proud to represent Australia” outraged not only fans, but also many experts. Famous coach Viktor Yanchuk reacted in such a way:

“Let her play for Australia if she wants so. It is her own business. I can’t say anything special happened to our tennis. Gavrilova is not the most promising player. She is quite talented and may be a Top-100 or Top-50 player. But I do not see Darya in the Top-10 or Top-5 and that is what we need,” said Yanchuk.

7. DASHA WAS INJURED

Gavrilova missed half the last season due to rupture of the knee cruciate ligaments. Actually, a career break contributed to moving to Australia as she was receiving treatment and recovery there. So, she decided to stay and live in Melbourne. After returning to the WTA Tour Gavrilova shows better results.

8. SHE MOVED TO MELBOURNE BECAUSE OF HER LOVE

Another Russian player Anastasiya Rodionova once went to Australia because of her lover. Then she made her sister Arina move there. Dasha has a similar case; her lover is a local tennis player Luke Saville (ranked No. 186). He could be called a great Australian promising player if Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kirgios hadn’t surprised everyone in the last Grand Slam tournaments. Nevertheless, it was Luke who made Darya fall in love with him.

9. SHE LOVES TWILIGHT AND SPONGE BOB

In this regard, Darya is not much different from most of her age mates: she likes novels and films about the love of a simple girl and a vampire more than classical literature. And the Sponge Bob Square Pants apparently was her favourite one from the childhood.

10. DASHA IS GOOD AT PICK-UP

Does anyone doubt it?

Text and pictures by SOVSPORT.RU