Daria Gavrilova made a quick exit from the Sydney International on Monday night after a belated fightback in her first-round clash with Kazakh world No.44 Yulia Putintseva.
"It's almost like I was trying to be the good girl and not show much emotion, and I lost myself a bit," Gavrilova said.
"Yeah, I'm not going to be that good girl anymore."
Gavrilova has now failed to win a match in two lead-up tournaments before the Australian Open. And she hinted at foot problems.
"Yeah, I have niggles everywhere. I don't know what's happening. We'll get on top of it," Gavrilova said.
"When I was 18 I didn't have to do anything, like no recovery and never saw a physio. I was great. I was sweet."
After losing the first set 6-1 and going down 5-2 in the second, Gavrilova fired up and transformed her game after a coaching break.
With more diverse shots she came back to level the set at 5-5, despite venting her frustrations on court and receiving a time violation in a long rally with the equaliser in the balance.
"I can't f—ing … [inaudible]," Gavrilova said loudly after losing a point.
Putintseva was animated too, briefly arguing with the umpire.
Despite taking the second set to a tie-breaker, where she was quickly up 3-1, Gavrilova lost the tiebreaker – and the match – 7-4.
The first set had been an entirely different affair, with Gavrilova falling behind 4-0 before a coaching break.
The Australian fire-cracker took a game shortly after, but it ultimately did not help.
Putintseva had Gavrilova's measure, running the Russian-born player around the court.
In the second set, Gavrilova initially appeared frustrated with her game.
"It's flying, I'm not even hitting the ball," she said loudly after losing a point.
But though she seemed to convert that anger to energy, she ultimately lost to the Kazakh, who will play either Sloane Stephens or Ekaterina Alexandrova next.
Ajla Tomljanovic, the Australian star who seemed in good form in the Brisbane International, had a bad day too, losing 6-3, 6-3 to the Italian Camila Giorgi.
Giorgi looked in control throughout the first set, which was interrupted by the rain, and Tomljanovic only momentarily stabilised in the second, which she led 3-2.
But Giorgi's serve won through, landing 74 per cent of her first serves to Tomljanovic's 55 per cent, and she took the match.
Nick is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.
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