Palmerbet Sports Team’s Best of the Day preview serves up some tennis tips for Daria Gavrilova’s Hong Kong Open clash with Monica Niculescu.
12:00 (AEST) @ Victoria Park, Hong Kong
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: Aussie Daria Gavrilova is aiming for another big run at the Hong Kong Open, where she finished runner-up in 2017.
Gavrilova eliminated the likes of Shelby Rogers and Jennifer Brady on her way to the decider before losing to Ansataisia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets.
Currently ranked No.32 in the world, the 24-year-old has chalked up some handy wins of late. She downed Jelena Ostapenko and Barbora Strycova on her way to the Round of 16 at the Wuhan Open. Two weeks ago she thrashed Petra Kvitova 6-2 6-1 at the China Open.
She was strenuously tested in the first round in Hong Kong, however. Gavrilova lost the first set to Zarina Diyas before storming back to win 3-6 7-5 6-1.
— HongKong Tennis Open (@HKTennisOpen) October 9, 2018
Daria Gavrilova edges into second round as Sam Stosur early-round woes continue https://t.co/fEMxMZ3fWk
— Swoop (@SwoopScoop) October 9, 2018
Her second-round opponent is veteran Romanian Monica Niculescu. The world No.82 – a former top-30 player – also came from a set down to beat Ons Jabeur in the first round.
Nicolescu lost to Diyas in the qualifiers of the China Open in her previous hit-out.
Amazing comeback win for Monica Niculescu! She fought hard all match against Ons Jabeur and with a loud roar takes the match in 3 sets. Monica defeated Ons Jabeur 4-6, 7-6, 6-4.#PHKTO2018 pic.twitter.com/tacD43t0kv
— 🇷🇴WTA Romania🇷🇴 (@WTARomania) October 9, 2018
The 31-year-old has three WTA titles to her name, the last coming at the 2016 Luxembourg Open. She was also a finalist at last year’s Hobart International.
Gavrilova is hunting just her second WTA title but looks a solid chance in Hong Kong. Elina Svitolina, Garbine Murguruza and Wang Qiang loom as potential finalists, but seventh seed Gavrilova is the highest-ranked player left in her half of the draw.
With some confident tennis under her belt in recent weeks, Gavrilova should advance here without too much trouble.
— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) September 26, 2018