Daria Gavrilova Looking Like Next Big Thing on WTA

Daria Gavrilova has really come on strong in recent months and she promises to be dangerous year in 2017.

Daria Gavrilova has a chance to play the role of spoiler at the 2016 WTA Moscow event. She will face Svetlana Kuznetsova in the tournament’s final. The Russian Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam champion, has a chance to move into the 2016 WTA Tour Finals with a victory. Her entry hinges only on the Moscow final and so only Australia’s Gavrilova stands in theย way.

Gavrilova, who was born in Moscow but represents Australia, handled a tough Russian player earlier in the draw. She beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the tournament’s No. 7 seed and the World No. 21 in the quarters. Other victories in Moscow include wins over Lucie Safarova and Julia Goerges. Gavrilova also beat Carla Suarez-Navarro, another player that was aiming for the tour finals with a title, in the tournament’s second round.

The strong run in Moscow certainly is not out of the blue. Last week at WTA Hong Kong, Gavrilova defeated World No. 1 Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals. ย Previously in Beijing, Gavrilova beat Chrisinta McHale, Timea Baczinsky, and Caroline Garcia. The Australian, who has not won a title in 2016 yet, has just one last chance to do so. However, the match-victories that she has posted clearly suggests that she could be heading toward the Top 15 in 2017.

At the age of 22, time is certainly on Gavrilova’s side. She entered this week ranked 37th in the world, but projects into the Top 25 following Moscow. When one looks at the other players that are in the Top 25 at the moment, there are few that are younger than Gavrilova.

Madison Keys and Elina Svitolina are two such players and they certainly have bright futures on the WTA Tour as well. Also, Swiss player Belinda Bencic, despite a poor year in 2016 that has seen her drop out of the picture for the time being, is still just 19 years old with some impressive credentials.

But the feisty Australian has shown enough promise that she can’t be ignored when it comes to talking about the next generation of women’s stars. Her strong run of form has come a little too late to make the tour finals this year, but I do see Gavrilova as a threat for the 2017 event. I also see her as a key player in the South Pacific swing that will start the new season in January.

As for that match at hand, Gavrilova enters the Moscow final as an underdog (7/4 with bet365). Kuznetsova certainly won’t be short on motivation in the match while Johanna Konta, the player that would make Singapore instead of Kuznetsova if Gavrilova wins the final, has to be watching with interest.


Shane Lambert