Glory 17 years in the making
DARIA Gavrilova (21) only became an Australian resident in 2014 but has already won a Hopman Cup for her new home country.
The Russian-born tennis player was on the verge of tears when accepting the trophy with partner Nick Kyrgios (20) at Perth Arena last Saturday night after the duo beat the Ukraine 2-0.
Gavrilova was lost for words, repeating “I’m just so happy”.
The world number 36 had resigned herself to playing a third set after winning the first 6-4 against Elina Svitolina (21) and going down 6-1 in the second set tie breaker.
But, the Australian’s fighting spirit kicked in and she came back to win the set and the match against the world number 19.
After the game, Gavrilova recalled an under-12s match where she was down 9-1 in a super tie breaker and came back to win.
“I just told myself to settle down, stop thinking of everything and think of how to win every point,” she said.
Kyrgios secured Australia’s first Hopman Cup since 1999 when Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic won, beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 6-4 in less than an hour.
The world number 30 had an impressive service game, often reaching 40-0 without a returned serve.
“My game can always get better, but my serving is coming along,” Kyrgios said.
“It was a lot of hard work playing four tough opponents and I was doing a lot of work off the court. It means a lot. It’s my first real title that I’ve won.”
Daria Gavrilova and Nick Kyrgios lift the Hopman Cup.