MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was sent tumbling out of the Australian Open in the second round by Daria Gavrilova on Wednesday, stunned 6-4 6-4 by the 21-year-old local.
The sixth seed, a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park four years ago, made 35 unforced errors and was broken five times in the 89-minute contest, to the delight of the partisan crowd on Margaret Court Arena.
Kvitova rallied to save a match point and break back for 5-4 in the final set but Gavrilova claimed the victory when the world number seven went long with a forehand in the next game.
Powerful Czech Kvitova suffered from glandula fever last year and pulled out of the Australian Open warm-up events in Shenzhen and Sydney with a gastro-intestinal illness.
She did not blame ill health for her defeat though.
“I think she played a really good game today and did what she needed to do,” she told reporters.
“I felt a little bit tired on court today and my serve didn’t want to work. I felt a bit weird but I’m not sick anymore, well, maybe in the head,” she laughed.
Moscow-born Gavrilova, who paired up with Nick Kyrgios to win the Hopman Cup for Australia at the start of the year, will play France’s Kristina Mladenovic in her first trip to the third round at a grand slam.
(Editing by Alison Williams)