Australian Daria Saville has continued her road back from recovery having blasted away American sensation Clervie Ngounoue to set up a clash with Iga Swiatek in the second round of the US Open. Saville is returning from her second ACL tear in her tennis career having gone down during a match against Naomi Osaka last year.
The tenacious Aussie has been fighting her way back to the tour and returned ahead of the grass court campaign. Currently ranked World No.322, Saville has been forced to fight her way back into tournaments through qualifiers.
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Despite her tough path back onto the tour, Saville is showing she still has the class having produced the first bagel of the 2023 US Open on her way to stopping the current Wimbledon junior champion 6-0, 6-2.
“Coming back from injuries, that was the goal: Get to play on all the bigger courts at every Slam,” Saville said before the grand slam. And her win sets up one of the biggest challenges in tennis. A match against World No.1 and four-time grand slam champion Swiatek.
Saville was all tongue-in-cheek knowing who she was facing and even hoped the roles wouldn't be reversed in a few days when she takes on the formidable Polish star. “The biggest goal...is not to get double-bageled," Saville said with a smile. "I think I can still make her life very uncomfortable and I will just play free and see what happens.”
She later said she was ready for the challenge. "I am up to the challenge and very excited," Saville told Stan Sport. "She's been dominating the women's game right now. So I am excited to see where my level is against her."
Saville said she feels inspired after being told how well she is moving after her second ACL injury. "I moved really well. I have had so many people come up to me saying, 'You're moving so well after an ACL,' so I am hoping me giving my best and chasing every ball will inspire someone who is going through the same injury. I don't just try to play for myself, but inspire other people."
Saville wasn't the only Australian coming back from injury to gain a victory. Ajla Tomljanovic was overwhelmed as she defeated Panna Udvardy in the first round. She will also face a tough task when she plays No.4 seed Elena Rybakina in the second round.
First bagel of the US Open handed out by Daria Saville (Wimbledon junior champion Clervie Ngounoue on the receiving end, welcome to the big leagues I guess)
First underarm serve of the US Open served by Alexander Bublik. Nobody surprised.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) August 28, 2023
Daria Saville 🇦🇺 thrashes Wimbledon junior champion Ngounoue 🇺🇸 6-0 6-2 to make round 2 of the US Open for only the 3rd time. Never gone further - yet! pic.twitter.com/rzrl66Od29
— TheTennisTalker (@TheTennisTalker) August 28, 2023
Dasha Dashes Ahead
The (latest) remarkable comeback of Daria Saville continues as the Aussie wastes no time clearing round 1 at the US Open.
Saville defeats this year's Wimbledon junior champion, Clervie Ngounoue, 6-0, 6-2, to reach round 2 and a likely run-in with Iga Swiatek. pic.twitter.com/FUbctEBrPO
— Tick Tock Tennis (@TickTockTennis) August 28, 2023
Iga Saville sets up Iga Swiatek blockbuster
Her win sets up a hug showdown with World No.1 Swiatek. The Polish star demolished Rebecca Peterson 6-0, 6-1 to advance in 58 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Swiatek is the reigning US Open champion and extended her 2023 season to 54-9. She has been in strong form leading up to the US Open, having made back-to-back semi-finals an Montreal and at the Cincinnati Open.
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