Daria Gavrilova wants to follow the lead of Alex de Minaur and excel at the Brisbane International.Watching Alex de Minaur’s stunning rise has inspired fellow n Daria Gavrilova to use the 2019 Brisbane International as a springboard to grand slam success next year.
World No.36 Gavrilova has confirmed she will contest next month’s Brisbane tournament for the first time in three years, completing a stellar women’s field that includes seven of the world’s top 10 players.
The former US Open girls champion said she wanted to test herself against the best in Brisbane in a bid to spark 2019 momentum just like de Minaur did this year.
The 19-year-old de Minaur stunned the 2018 Brisbane International field, reaching the semi-finals and a week later made the final four at Sydney.
It kick-started a breakout season in which the plucky teenager started 2018 at No.201 and finished as ‘s top ranked male player at 31, earning ATP World Tour’s Newcomer of the Year honours.
Gavrilova, 24, needed inspiration after dropping out of the world top 30 in 2018, ensuring she can not rely on grand slam seedings for the first time in years.
And she reckons she found it watching de Minaur channel Lleyton Hewitt this year.
“Last year I was watching de Minaur a lot (in Brisbane) and everyone was supporting him – I just can’t wait to start the season,” Gavrilova said in Brisbane.
“For sure I want to start my season on a high.
“I want to challenge myself against top players, that’s why I have entered this tournament.
“My biggest goal for next year is to play the bigger tournaments, play against top players.”
Gavrilova had a solid year, reaching the third round in the French Open and at Wimbledon with second round exits at the n and US Opens.
“My goal this year was to make the second week of a slam but it hasn’t happened,” she said.
“I would love to make a second week as soon as possible, hopefully in Melbourne (n Open) it is going to happen.”
Gavrilova will join de Minaur as part of a six-strong n contingent at the Brisbane International also including Nick Kyrgios, John Millman and Sam Stosur.
The women’s field will be headed by world No.4 Elina Svitolina and reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka.
Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori headline the men’s field for the tournament starting on December 30.