Gavrilova loses Connecticut Open crown
DARIA Gavrilova's reign as Connecticut Open champion has come to an end with a hard-fought three-set loss to Aryna Sabalenka.
The Australian world No.24 saved two match points before she ultimately succumbed to the Belarusian 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 7-5.
In a stern two hour and 48 minute test before next week's US Open, Gavrilova fell to 25th-ranked Sabalenka in a see-sawing round-of-16 clash when a backhand sailed long.
"It was like crazy match for sure," Sabalenka said in her on-court post-match interview.
"I'm a little bit in shock that it finished on my side."
The match swung wildly with Gavrilova's serve broken nine times and Sabalenka's seven, as double faults (25 in total) and errors (103) mounted.
The ninth-seeded Gavrilova went 5-2 up in the second set but blew two set points before being broken and facing a match point at 6-5 down.
She forced a tiebreaker and closed it out on her fourth set point.
But Gavrilova's momentum stalled as she quickly fell two breaks behind in the third set.
The relentless Aussie wouldn't lie down though, breaking back twice to draw level at 4-all.
The turning point came in the next game when the shrieking Sabalenka saved two break points to halt Gavrilova's momentum.
With the chance gone begging, the fiery Aussie was one point away from another tiebreaker but Sabalenka lifted once more to land the knockout blow.
"I'm so tired and so happy at one time," Sabalenka said.
"With every point, I start to be more crazy. I was so angry at myself. And I was just like, 'You have to (win) this because you led 4-0.'"
Ekaterina Makarova backed up her first-round shock win over fourth-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova by overcoming Magdalena Rybarikova 2-6 6-3 6-3.