As hard as she’s tried, Daria Gavrilova hasn’t been allowed to completely narrow her focus.
The inevitable questions have been unavoidable since Friday’s Australian Open draw put the fit-again 26-year-old on a collision course with world No.1 Ash Barty.
The local pair are slated to meet in a second-round encounter, presumably in prime-time at one of Melbourne Park’s main arenas.
“I haven’t really looked, but a few people have told me already,” Gavrilova said.
“Yeah, of course, I have thoughts about if I win … but then I remember, yeah, exactly, you’ve got to win first.”
In physical terms, Gavrilova hasn’t felt better in some time as she prepares for Tuesday’s first-round meeting with Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.
The longer-than-usual off-season helped her get ongoing Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and toe issues under control for the time being.
And, importantly, Gavrilova has regained the trademark speed that once propelled her into the world’s top 20.
It allowed her to test superstar Serena Williams during their warm-up tournament, with the match much closer than the 6-1 6-4 result suggested.
“I feel pretty good and I was pretty happy with how I played in the (Yarra Valley Classic),” Gavrilova said.
“I moved really well and I think I’m in good nick right now.
“I should have taken my chances a little bit more against Serena, but playing against her is probably very good practice.
“Just knowing how high her level is and that some games I was really close, breaking her serve and still not feeling I played my best game … I was positive and motivated to step out on the practice court the next day.”
The first-round match will be Gavrilova’s second career meeting with Sorribes Tormo and first since she double-bageled the Spaniard in the first round of the 2018 US Open.
“She troubles a lot of players,” Gavrilova said.
“She’s been ranked inside the top 100 for ages and she’s very disciplined, a real Spanish grinder.
“She’s going to make a lot of balls so I have to really work hard for it.”