Daria Gavrilova’s devastation was plain to see after going down to Aussie rival and world No.1 Ash Barty in the second round of the Australian Open.
Barty won the first set in convincing fashion before Gavrilova found her groove to mount an impressive comeback down 5-2 in the second.
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The top seed dropped serve twice while trying to close out the match, then had to save two set points in the tiebreaker before eventually prevailing after one hour and 32 minutes.
She coughed up six double-faults and committed 34 unforced errors.
However Barty was good enough when it counted, leaving Gavrilova visibly distraught before she left the court.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) February 11, 2021
Shaking her head before getting up to gather her towels and leaved the arena, the world No.387 clearly felt she had more to show against the world No.1.
Barty was quick to give Gavrilova her respect in her post-match interview, praising the 26-year-old for her tennis comeback after spending a year on the sidelines dealing with a foot injury.
"When you play another Aussie, you play a compatriot, the rankings go out the window. Experience goes out the window," Barty said.
"Typically you know each other very well so it was always going to be a tricky match no matter what."
A semi-finalist last year, Barty will return on Saturday to play Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova or Czech Barbora Krejcikova for a fourth-round berth.
The World No.1 needed just 27 minutes to breeze through the opening set and looked on course to waltz into the third round when she jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the second.
With the 24-year-old serving for the match, Gavrilova managed to grab an all-important break back.
The World No. 387 - riding a wave of renewed momentum then claimed the next three games in a row to take an unlikely 6-5 lead.
Commentator Sam Smith said she "didn't see that coming", with viewers left stunned by the dramatic turn of events.
Wow- After being broken in the first game of the set, Barty won the next 6 games to take the first 6-1 in 27 minutes against Daria Gavrilova.
What a masterclass!#AusOpen
— Shane McInnes (@shanemcinnes) February 11, 2021
Heartbreak for Tomljanovic against Halep
Heartbroken Ajla Tomljanovic is struggling to find the positives out of her Australian Open capitulation against world No.2 Simona Halep, saying it could "sting" for a while.
Tomljanovic took a 5-2 lead in the third and served for the match but reigning Wimbledon champion Halep steamed back to win five games in a row to secure a 4-6 6-4 7-5 victory.
In a high-quality match that lasted two hours and 34 minutes, the pair went toe-to-toe on Wednesday.
The 72nd-ranked Tomljanovic used her big groundstrokes to pummel the Romanian, who was an Australian Open semi-finalist last year and finalist in 2018, but fell agonisingly short.
Ash Barty's understudy in the local ranks, Tomljanovic has long craved a big scalp and a strong performance at her home grand slam, where she's never made it past the second round.
Her best-ever showing at a major was a round-four appearance at Roland Garros back in 2014.
"It's hard to talk about it and see any kind of positives," the 27-year-old said.
"All I wanted to do was to get a win in any way, even if it was the worst tennis ever.
"I know it was a high level match but in the end I lost and that's the dominant feeling."
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