Australian player Daria Gavrilova is daring to dream. Picture: David Caird
Australian player Daria Gavrilova is daring to dream. Picture: David Caird

The Aussies you should be cheering on

AUSSIE stars are daring to dream of a drought-breaking Australian Open title as they take on the might of world tennis at Melbourne Park.

Nick Kyrgios, Daria Gavrilova, John Millman, Matt Ebden and Victoria's Olivia Rogowska will take to the courts on Wednesday, all trying to become the first Aussie to win on home soil since 1976.

Gavrilova told the Herald Sun she had come to Melbourne Park to win, and the form of each of the young Aussie rising stars was spurring them all on to greater heights.

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"It's super-exciting that the girls and boys are doing so well,'' she said.

"It's good for us to be in this position and competing a little bit against each other.

"We all want to be number one ... everyone's goal is to win the tournament.''

A record first Tuesday crowd of 55,767 packed Melbourne Park today; the previous record was 49,569.

The day session crowd was second only to the 58,335 that turned out to the middle Saturday of last year's tournament.

Gavrilova predicted several Aussies would win through to the tournament's second week.

"I do love playing at home and the crowd is always supporting me,'' she said. "I feel like everyone is behind me and trying to help me out, that I'm not just by myself.''

Kyrgios told the Herald Sun he was determined to succeed, but refused to be weighed down by the weight of local expectations. "It doesn't play on my mind at all,'' he said.

"I know that there's a long road to winning a Grand Slam.

Olivia Rogowska’s Australian Open hopes are still alive. Picture: AAP Image/Tennis Australia/Fiona Hamilton
Olivia Rogowska’s Australian Open hopes are still alive. Picture: AAP Image/Tennis Australia/Fiona Hamilton

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"I haven't won one just yet, but I know that you need a lot of luck, and you need to be mentally ready to go all the way,'' Kyrgios said.

Former star Carlos Moya, now coach to top seed Rafael Nadal, said Kyrgios had the potential to be number one in the world.

"He is one of the very few players who has that potential,'' Moya said.

"That doesn't mean he is going to get there. He has the game to win it, but I don't know how eager is he to get there and how much he's going to accept to give up to try and be the best player.''

Melbourne wildcard Destanee Aiava, 17, firmed as a future Aussie hope. She lost to world number one Simona Halep but not before a gruelling tie-break showdown in the first set.

Gavrilova said that she was raring to go against Belgian Elise Mertens on centre court tonight.

"I love the big stage and it's amazing to play on Rod Laver Arena,'' she said.

peter.rolfe@news.com.au

@rolfep



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