18/05/2024

Saville plays a forehand during her victory over Katie Boulter in Adelaide. IMAGE: Adelaide Internation/Twitter

Daria Saville has secured two huge wins at the Adelaide International as her preparation for the Australian Open ramps up.

Daria Saville will enter the main draw of the Adelaide International full of confidence after securing two big wins in qualifying for the WTA 500 tournament.

Having suffered a shocking achilles injury in February last year, Saville is hitting her best form at the right time.

Former world number 20’s name change

Formerly Daria Gavrilova, the Australian tennis star recently married men’s professional tennis player Luke Saville and is now Daria Saville. The couple were married in Melbourne, just last month, after 12 years of dating.

The injury derailment

Following a second-round exit at the 2021 Australian Open to world number one Ash Barty, Saville played one more match of doubles before succumbing to an achilles injury.

Having suffered pain in her heel for five years, Saville was revealed to have a Haglund’s bump on her heel, combined with Enthesopathy which is an injury from overuse. The decision was made to have immediate surgery which ruled her out for most of 2021.

A triumphant comeback

With Barty and Ajla Tomljanovic unavailable to represent Australia in the early rounds of the Billie Jean Cup at the end of 2021, it was Saville who made her return to tennis following a nine-month layoff where she produced one of the greatest wins of her career, a 6-4 1-6 6-4 victory over in-form Belgian Greet Minnen.

It would turn out to be Saville’s only appearance at the Billie Jean Cup as an understrength Australia managed to reach the semi-finals before bowing out to Switzerland.

Adelaide International

Saville has secured two huge wins in qualifying to reach the top-level Adelaide International main draw. Boasting eight of the top 10 women’s player in the world, the Adelaide International will now host the 27-year-old Melbourne local as one of its 32 main draw players.

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Her first match since the Billie Jean Cup, Saville stunned 19th ranked Caty McNally, 6-3 6-4 in a dominant display. The following day, Saville was able to tough it out against British star Katie Boulter in a topsy-turvy encounter, 7-5 3-6 6-4.

Saville celebrates winning a point against Boulter. IMAGE: Adelaide International/Twitter

Previous Australian Open success

As she worked towards her prominent rise to the top 20 in the women’s rankings, Saville has known to be a favourite to Australian tennis fans in the past.

Previously, Saville secured two impressive fourth-round appearances at the Australian Open in 2016 and 2017.

Saville celebrates a win during her famous run at the 2017 Australian Open. IMAGE: Tennis Australia

A fourth round exit to tenth seed Carla Suárez Navarro in 2016 was followed by an exit to fifth seed Karolína Plíšková during the same round in 2017. But, not before a huge win over the 12th seed Timea Bacsinszky the round prior.

Currently on a three-match winning streak, Saville will hope to continue her recent success as she continues to build fitness before the Australian Open kicks off on January 17.

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