American Chirico Is Loving The Clay

Mutua Madrid Open, Spain

[39] Daria Gavrilova (AUS) vs. [130] Louisa Chirico (USA)

Although she has been laboring in the qualifying rounds, Chirico is no stranger to going deep in the main draw.  She lost in the final to Caroline Garcia last year in Limoges (a WTA 125K event). En route to her first WTA Premier Mandatory event semifinal, Chirico dispatched of [31] Monica Niculescu; [17] Ana Ivanovic; she got a pass when [5] Victoria Azarenka withdrew with injury; and today she defeated [39] Daria Gavrilova 7-6 (1), 6-2.  Next up for Chirico is the energizer bunny on the women’s tour, [38] Dominika Cibulkova.

It takes a while to develop your game these days since the rules have changed regarding how many tournaments you can enter at a certain age.  If you don’t get wild cards into the main draw, you are left to struggle through the qualifying rounds.  Which is better?  On one hand getting into the main draw would be beneficial if you were able to win your matches; however, playing against much higher ranked players and get summarily dismissed may not be so good for your confidence.

I think the trials of qualifying build your confidence in your physical as well as mental fitness.  I have been watching as Chirico seemed to be growing in confidence daily. The big boost for her was beating Ivanovic and she has used that victory to propel her forward.  Unlike so many lower ranked players that have a big win and fall flat in the next round, Chirico has kept her focus and she is eyeing the title. Can she take this all the way to the final?  I see no reason why not.  As she stated in her post match interview on court: “she is taking it one match at a time”.

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