Daria Alexeyevna Gavrilova, also known as Daria Gavrilova, is an Australian professional tennis player who played for Russia until 2015 and then emigrated to Australia. She has won one singles title, two doubles titles on the WTA Tour and two doubles titles, and four singles on the ITF Circuit in her career. She was born in Moscow, Russia, on March 5th, 1994. Daria was introduced to tennis at the age of six by her parents Alexey and Natalia. Daria, also known as “Dasha” to her friends and family, did very well regarding her tennis progression in her first years and quickly emerged as a top talent. When she reached age 12, she realized that she was good enough to become an outstanding tennis player and set her sights on a goal to become a professional tennis career. Her confidence was not misplaced. As with her many good results, she quickly became an ITF world No. 1 junior based on a combination of hard training and persistence. In 2010, she graduated from high school. At that time, she was, in many ways like any other teenage girls her age, enjoying going out for sushi, reading the Twilight books, and idolizing the stars at the tennis sky; at that time, Kim Clijsters, the Williams sisters, and Martina Hingis. But one thing that definitely set her apart from her peers was that none of the other students won the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games or the 2010 Junior US Open. Consequently, in August 2010, Daria reached a combined career-high junior ranking as no.1 in the world.
In 2011 Gavrilova started dating South Australian Luke Saville, the winner of two junior grand slam tournaments, after meeting him at the Junior Davis Cup in Mexico. Daria moved to Australia in late 2013, when she was 18 years old, and was playing her first Australian Open in 2014. Staying in Melbourne, she realized she had also fallen in love with the country, the amazing beaches, the hot weather, and its people. The winters in Melbourne are considered cold in sunny Australia, but it’s no big deal for Daria, who was used to subzero winter temperatures in Russia. After some consideration, she decided to stay in Melbourne and train with the Australian coach Nicole Pratt. The year after, in 2015, Daria immigrated from Russia to Australia and received her new Australian passport and citizenship in December 2015. She played her first tournament as an Australian in the Australia Green team during the Hopman Cup in Perth, 3-9 January 2016, alongside Nick Kyrgios. In the initial stage of the tournament, her only win in the single class was over Sabine Lisicki, but she and Nick Kyrgios were undefeated in the mixed-doubles stage. Hence, Gavrilova and Kyrgios became the tournament’s eventual champions. They defeated Elina Svitolina and Alexandr Dolgopolov from the Ukrainian team in both singles matches. It was only the second time that the Australian national tennis team won the Hopman Cup, the first time in 1999. After the tournament, the Australians claimed their new sporting star as their own.
Daria Gavrilova’s main task for 2016 was to improve her rankings. Hence, she planned to concentrate her efforts on Grand Slam tournaments in the years to come. She did her best to reach her goal the following years but never really hit the mark, probably due to several injuries and her struggles with Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. One of her strengths is her movement, but these problems gave her lots of pain while playing, making it almost impossible to compete against the best. In 2021, Gavrilova finally decided to undergo surgery after her long-term foot injury sent her spiraling from No.20 in the world in 2016 to a position in February 2021, where she was ranked 387th, hoping to put more than five years of injury hell behind her. Despite her injuries, she got closer to her professional goal of winning a Grand Slam event in 2017. There were many tough opponents in her path, but she had already beaten two of the current top-five players, and there are often new winners at Grand Slam events. In August 2017, Gavrilova won her first WTA title at the Connecticut Open in New Haven, defeating Dominika Cibulková in three sets. She has even beaten several top-10 opponents in the past, including former Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber. Moreover, she defeated reigning number 1 Angelique Kerber and has bested Czech star Petra Kvitova twice.