Glory 17 years in the mak­ing

Western Suburbs Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

Pic­tures: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d448431

Daria Gavrilova and Nick Kyr­gios lift the Hop­man Cup.

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