The 24-year-old spoke openly about the struggles she faced during 2018 including how she started to not enjoy tennis. 

"This year was probably the toughest season I've had," Gavrilova said.

"I was probably in the wrong headspace. I was not enjoying tennis that much.

"I was just struggling on court mentally but I found my back and started playing well and changed the way I was looking at things."

This year, Gavrilova made the third round of the French Open and Wimbledon, her best to date but crashed out of both the Australian and US Open in the second round. 

Gavrilova was struggling physically and mentally with the former junior world No 1 taking a slight dip in the rankings after finishing the previous two years at 25.

It all came to a head when she played 23-time Grand Slam Champions Serena Williams in the first round at the Cincinnati Open.

Gavrilova went down in straight sets 6-1 6-2 but it wasn't the loss that made her re-think about her mental headspace.

"I was like 'how are you not enjoying playing Serena?", this is just wrong," she said.

"I didn't have the best US Open, although I did get a 6-0 6-0 win but after I came back home I just thought, you either make some changes and start focusing on the positives or maybe have some time off."

The Melbourne-based player was putting immense pressure on herself to perform but didn't know she was doing so. 

"[I did] without realising, I was like, I've got to do this, I've got to be better at that and it just wasn't positive," Gavrilova said.

"I was just like, no, that's not good enough, got to get better."

Now, heading into a new season she is in a better space both mentally and physically and is confident she can maintain it. There has been a new addition to her team in Jeremy Oliver, a fitness coach. 

"I'm really happy with my team, and I've got good people around me," Gavrilova said. 

More recently, Gavrilova got engaged early December to long-time boyfriend and fellow tennis player Luke Saville 


06/12/18 💍 can’t stop calling him fiancé and he hates it ha!

A post shared by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

Although, not everything went to plan during the proposal. 

"He wanted to find a park near the pier and propose there and that didn't happen. So we went down to the beach and there were so many people," she said.

Gavrilova will take to the court on Tuesday (January 1) as she faces Latvian Anastasija Sevastova.