Tennis: Daria Gavrilova sorry for 'little girl' meltdown during Australian Open match

Australia's Daria Gavrilova at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan 24, 2016.
Australia's Daria Gavrilova at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan 24, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

MELBOURNE (AFP) - New Australian tennis star Daria Gavrilova has shown refreshing humility by admitting she acted like "a little girl" and needed to learn from it after a mid-match meltdown at the Australian Open.

The Moscow-born Gavrilova, who received her Australian passport recently, has been a breakout star at Melbourne Park, winning legions of new fans with her formidable game and sunny disposition.

But she had a centre-court tantrum against experienced Spaniard Carla Suarez in the fourth round on Sunday night. After winning the opening set 6-0, she lost focus to crash 3-6, 2-6 in the next two sets and lose.

In shades of madcap compatriot Nick Kyrgios, the 21-year-old chastised herself, repeatedly threw her racket and kicked a ball in disgust in front of the sell-out crowd and global television audience.

"It wasn't great and I'm very disappointed with myself. I was being a little girl. Just, yeah, I'm very disappointed with myself," she said.

"I got emotionally fried in the second set. I was getting angry with myself, just showing way too much emotion.

"I've never played that deep in a Grand Slam, so maybe that's why. (But) It's not acceptable. I don't know why I did that. I was terrible."