Melbourne, Jan 17, 2018
Irina Falconi lost to Daria Gavrilova in the last match on Rod Laver Arena, ending a very forgettable opening day for American women at the Australian Open.
No. 23-seeded Gavrilova beat Falconi 6-1, 6-1 to hand the U.S. its ninth loss in 10 matches in the women’s draw. The only American woman to win on Day 1 was Nicole Gibbs, who beat lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova 6-1, 6-1 in an early evening match.
It was only a wee problem as it turned out, and no place for dramatic weird stories.
Actually, maybe Dasha was taking the piss as she was never really threatened in the match against Irina Falconi, which she won 6-1 6-1 in a smidgen over an hour.
Daria – Dasha – Gavrilova has a seed this year. Twenty-three. It’s not high but it’s a next step towards where she wants to be.
In her first round, she presented as a seeded player should and comfortably deposed a player ranked more than 100 places behind her. Falconi, a qualifier here has often been ranked in the top 100 and so is a dangerous opponent but Gavrilova closed her out.
The last two years at the Australian Open she has made it through to the fourth round. She plays Elise Mertens of Belgium next.
She has been watching her closely, she said, having watched her at the Hopman Cup. Though clearly, she had not been watching too closely as she corrected a reporter who put it to her that she had lost to her in Perth.
“I didn’t lose to her in Perth. Haven’t played her there. Played a really tight match at Roland Garros. Yeah, it’s going to be tough playing her. I think it’s going to be a very exciting match.”
Afterwards, she was embarrassed to remember that in fact, she did lose to her in Perth. It’s Rod Laver, it plays tricks on the mind. Or maybe she was taking the piss.