After a string of solid results in 2016-17, Daria Gavrilova had cracked the top-20 following the title in New Haven in August 2017, defeating Agnieszka Radwanska and Dominika Cibulkova for her first and so far the only WTA crown.
Daria played in the semi-final in Sydney and Acapulco last year and the results were not that good in the rest of the season, advancing into the last eight only three times overall and failing to keep the position in the rankings.
Kicking off 2019 season ranked 35th, Daria has struggled to find the rhythm or winning margin in the first three months, bowing out in the opening round in Brisbane, Sydney, Australian Open, St. Petersburg and Acapulco, dropping the Fed Cup tie against Danielle Collins and heading to Indian Wells with no triumphs under her belt and troubled with Achilles problems.
In the desert, Gavrilova finally started to play better, beating Dayana Yastremska and Mihaela Buzarnescu before suffering a tight loss against Elina Svitolina in round three. Determined to change something and bring her career back on the right course, Daria has decided to change the coaching staff and add David Taylor to the team, choosing Rabat as their joined event.
Before that, Gavrilova will defend the national colors against Belarus in the Fed Cup World Group semi-final between April 20-21 at Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane. Together with Ashleigh Barty, Samantha Stosur and Priscilla Hon, Gavrilova will try to send Australia into the first final since 1993 and she can't wait for the tie to start in front of their partisan crowd.
Daria has won four out of 11 Fed Cup ties so far and she will try to improve the score on the home ground, losing both singles rubbers a year ago against the Ukrainians in Canberra on grass. “I can’t wait,” Gavrilova said.
“I was just on my phone and in my schedule looking what’s next and the next thing was Fed Cup semis – I was like, oh my God, we’re actually in the semifinals! I love Fed Cup, love the environment. I always look forward to it.
We do everything together and it’s a lot of fun because I think I’m a really good team player. I love being in the team and, yeah, I always look forward to these weeks. It’s going to be a dream come true for our little team and the players because we’ve been talking about this since forever.
We truly did believe that we could get to semifinals and even win the whole thing and I think for tennis it’s gonna be pretty special. I know everyone’s behind us, so we’re going to try and do our best. I’ve known Dave for a while because I’m an excellent friend with Sam Stosur.
I was telling him ages ago that he’s already coached me, but he forgot about it. He helped me a little bit a few years back in Hong Kong, but I look forward to it this time and I think he is too. We’ve already like set our own little goals, but first of all, I need to get healthy. I can’t wait to see him and start working”.