BEIJING, China - Daria Gavrilova scored her second victory over a Grand Slam champion in as many weeks on Saturday, as she defeated No.5 seed Petra Kvitova in the first round of the China Open, 6-2, 6-1.
The Aussie had a successful first week in China, as she defeated former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko en route to reaching the third round of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, and scored her second Top 10 win of the season and first since May with the victory.
"I think I played a really good match today. Petra is a really tough opponent. It was a little bit tricky...but I felt like I took my chances and I served really well today," Gavrilova said.
"I feel like I'm playing really good tennis. I started in Tokyo, and I was up against [Karolina] Pliskova [in the second round]. I'm really enjoying being in Asia."
An up-and-down performance from the World No.5 sealed her fate in the first match of the day on the Diamond Court, as she was largely the one who finished the points in one way or the other.
Kvitova racked up 39 unforced errors over the course of 93 minutes, despite also totaling 26 winners, and lost serve six times in the match overall.
The opening set began ominously for the World No.5, who lost her next two service games from deuce after holding fairly comfortably to begin the match.
Trailing 4-1, Kvitova earned her lone break of the match in one of five deuce games which ultimately dotted the landscape of the opening set.
Nonetheless, she was unable to gather any sustained momenum, and surrendered the last two games - including the last five points of the set after building a 0-40 lead on the Aussie's serve - to drop the opener.
— WTA (@WTA) September 29, 2018
Despite tallying 17 winners in the first set, Kvitova also logged 17 unforced errors, while Gavrilova recorded four winners and five unforced.
The Aussie also avoided the pitfall of too many second serves by having an excellent day at the line, as she landed 81 percent of her first serves overall and a sparkling 87 percent in the first set.
Kvitova remained unable to find the answers to Gavrilova's staunch defending in the second set, with several marathon rallies going the Aussie's way as games flipped to her side of the scoreboard.
— WTA (@WTA) September 29, 2018
The World No.33 hit a tidy 12 winners to 12 unforced errors in the match, and stamped her authority on the second set with a love break to begin it.
Two more breaks for Gavrilova followed, as Kvitova hit five of her six double faults in the match in the second set, and the 24-year-old wrapped up the upset in a titantic, eight-deuce affair in the final game on her fourth match point.
Gavrilova's next opponent will not be decided until later in the weekend, as she will face the winner of the first-round match between Dominika Cibulkova and Chinese wildcard Duan Ying-ying.
"I think [Cibulkova] is a really tough opponent and I have a lot of respect for her. She always fights for every point," Gavrilova said. "I beat her in Birmingham, but it's going to be a new match and I have to play my best to beat her."
On Duan, the Aussie added: "I've never played her, or even practiced with her, but I have a chance to watch her as well, and I'll be preparing."