Dreams do come true and Daria Gavrilova proved it on Thursday, by beating great champion and megastar Maria Sharapova 7-6(4) 6-3 in the second round of the Miami Open, just days after cracking the Top 100. How big of a stunner this is justifies the 21-year-old Gavrilova’s post-match statement:
When I saw her [Sharapova] win Wimbledon, when she beat Serena, I was like, ‘Oh, I really want to play her and beat her.’ I’ve probably been visualizing beating her since I was 12.
Women’s Tennis Blog’s friend John Bolan visits the Miami tournament every year and this year he received credentials as an official guest of a player, allowing him free entrance, valet parking, use of the player lounge, restaurant and patio, plus great seats. He was lucky enough to watch the biggest upset of the week live and here’s his account of the match:
Daria’s game was really on and from the beginning of the match it was obvious Maria was in trouble. If you look carefully at Maria’s photos, you will see telltale signs of injury and pain she endured throughout the match. Notice her left thigh was tightly wrapped high on her leg. Daria made Maria move to return her hits – right to left and short to long.
Maria just could not return many of her shots across the net. Check the picture between points with her fist hand against her back. Maria is in obvious back pain. Most veteran players suffer during their matches from chronic pain of one sort or the other. Back and legs are the area most often effected. Maria suffered from both back and leg pain during her match, but no matter, she was soundly beaten by the 97th-ranked wildcard Daria.
Even though she’s never won the Miami Open title, the event is one of Sharapova’s best tournaments, reaching the final in 2005, 2006, 2011, 2012 and finally 2013. How the competitive second-seeded Russian is feeling after being shown the exit door in her opening match? Haha I love this gif I found at Tennis Forum 🙂
(photos: Karla St John)