Aussie Gavrilova claims maiden tour title
DARIA Gavrilova has roared into the world's top 20 after dramatically claiming a maiden WTA Tour title with victory over Dominika Cibulkova.
The Victorian came back from the brink of defeat to overwhelm second seed Cibulkova 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the Connecticut Open final.
Gavrilova, 23, will carry a career-high ranking - No 20 - into tomorrow's US Open, a jump of six places.
The Russian-born baseliner had eliminated top seed and another grand slam finalist Agnieskza Radwanska in the semi-finals to be the first Australian to make the New Haven decider.
The reigning WTA Tour Championship title-holder and a 2014 Australian Open finalist, Cibulkova twice dropped serve in the opening set before winning four of the last five games to take the lead.
But Gavrilova, who lost two previous tour finals to major winners Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sam Stosur, refused to yield.
She broke Cibulkova twice in the second set while fighting off four break points on her own serve to tie the match up.
Trailing 3-4 - and a service - in the final set, Gavrilova surged back to claim the last three games.
On sealing a fabulous win, Gavrilova vaulted over advertising signs to celebrate with Nicole Pratt and Fed Cup captain Alicial Molik.
Gavrilova is determined to end the grand slam season on a high after losing first-rounders at the French Open and Wimbledon.
The right-hander reached the fourth round in Melbourne in January.