Gavrilova: I Dream of These Moments

Published 5 August 2016 (AEDT)

Australian tennis player Daria Gavrilova takes to the court in Rio ©

TENNIS: Australia’s rising tennis star Daria Gavrilova is excited at the prospect of facing defending Olympic champion and world number one Serena Williams in the opening round of the women’s singles competition.

Australia’s world number 46 player admits that drawing the 22-time grand slam winner is not the ideal draw but is looking forward to facing Williams and hopes the match will take place on centre court.

“It is certainly not the easiest or the best draw but I am hoping that I will play on the big court, I love that,” Gavrilova said

“I practice for these moments and I am just excited about it and can’t wait to play.

“I always dream about playing on the big court and I don’t care if it is early in the tournament, I live for these moments and opportunities, I’m really excited”.

Women’s coach Alicia Molik agrees that Gavrilova loves and is suited to the “big stage”.

“If you are going to play Serena I think it is better to play her first off the bat, first round rather than when she gets some rhythm,” said Molik.

“Dasha always competes really well on a big stage and there is no question that this will be a centre court match so I think that sits really well for her”.

In the women’s doubles Gavrilova will pair with Australian number one and team mate Samantha Stosur and they will take on the Swiss team of Martina Hingis and Timea Bacsinszky.

“Hingis is the best doubles player right now and I know that Timea is pretty handy as well,” said Gavrilova. “They are both very talented so it is going to be very tough, I think it will come down to who wants it more”.

Stosur and Gavrilova paired together for the first time in Montreal, Canada last week in preparation for this week and were pleased with their first tournament together.

“I think we matched together pretty well,” she said. “We played some good matches and we beat one Olympic team that was nominated here this week so it was a good start.

“We lost to the Russian team but I think that we are playing really well and we are both excited and looking forward to the opportunity to play doubles here again together”.

Whilst excited by the tennis, Gavrilova indicated that she is also excited by the overall Olympic experience.

“I am really enjoying my time being in the village, it is totally different to what we tennis players are used to but I am loving it,” she said. “It is great to meet all the different athletes and I would definitely love and hope to be able to have the opportunity to go out and see some other sports, especially the track and field."

To read more on who the Aussies will face in the first round men's and women's draws, click here (men's) and here (women's).

Jo Banning

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