FIRED UP: Daria Gavrilova has set up an enticing second round match at the Sydney International against Aussie-born world No.10 Johanna Konta.
FIRED UP: Daria Gavrilova has set up an enticing second round match at the Sydney International against Aussie-born world No.10 Johanna Konta. PAUL MILLER

Gavrilova beats rain to set up Konta showdown

TENNIS: Daria Gavrilova has overcome rain delays and a momentary loss of focus to win her first-round Sydney International match and set up a showdown with world No.10 Johanna Konta on Tuesday.

Australian Gavrilova defeated qualifier Donna Vekic 6-3 7-6 (7-1) on Monday night, but admitted afterwards that she should not have allowed three separate rain delays in the second set to distract her.

At one point, the 22-year-old helped the ball kids wipe rain from the court with towels.

"Tough conditions in the end. I probably spent too much energy thinking of the rain and then it got on my nerves a little bit,” Gavrilova said.

"I started just wasting energy on irrelevant things that I can't even control. Pretty silly.

"[I was] thinking, 'Oh, it should have been over before the rain', because I felt like I had opportunities in second set on her serve to break her serve again.

"But then I didn't. I missed a few easy put-aways, and I think I was blaming myself for not closing it out before the rain.”

Gavrilova now takes on Australian-born Konta, whom she defeated in their last encounter in France in 2015.

"She's in really good form. I mean, she's top 10,” Gavrilova said.

"She's playing very solid. She can do pretty much everything. Has a good serve.

"To beat her, I have to play 100% and be very focused and play every point as hard as I can.”

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