Dellacqua missed out on a prime opportunity to build some much needed momentum heading into next week’s Australian Open, but also saved herself from a gruelling double-bout of play which will see Knapp return to the court on Thursday for a same day quarter-final encounter with American qualifier Madison Brengle.
“I feel ready for the Australian Open and I feel that I’m the best prepared that I can be and that I have done everything that I possibly can,” Dellacqua told the AAP.
“Now I just turn my focus onto the Australian Open and doing what I can in the next couple of days to prepare best for that.”
The Italian outlasted Dellacqua in the opening set only to see the world No.29 Aussie win seven of the next nine games in a dominant second set. The Perth native went on to save a match point on serve down 5-2 in the deciding set until Knapp sealed the result after 128 minutes of action.
“I have no concerns in terms of how I’m hitting the ball and how I’m feeling out there, my body is healthy – I feel good,” Dellacqua said following last week’s winless Hopman Cup campaign.
“Each match that I’ve played this year things have got better and better,” she said.
“I’ve found my focus a lot quicker.
“I just tried to stay calm and tried to stay in the best frame of mind that I can to not let the match run away from me.”
In Melbourne, Australian youngster Jordan Thompson collected an impressive scalp, defeating world No.14 Feliciano Lopez at the Kooyong Classic.
The 20-year-old powered to a 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 straight sets win after pushing US Open finalist Kei Nishikori to a three-set tiebreaker on Wednesday.
“I played really well today,” Thompson said. “He didn’t play his best but I will definitely take that.”
“I’ll hopefully keep it going into the Australian Open and if I get two sets up take the third one,” Thompson said after losing a two-set advantage to 20th seed Jerzy Janowicz in the first round of last year’s Open.
Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images.