Home Australia Daria Saville is eliminated from the Madrid Open for the second time in four days

Daria Saville is eliminated from the Madrid Open for the second time in four days

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Daria Saville is eliminated from the Madrid Open for the second time in four days

Daria Saville’s luck finally ran out at the Madrid Open when Australia’s only female representative at the big clay-court event was eliminated, for the second time in four days.

The Australian number one got a reprieve after being eliminated in the qualifying round by Romanian Jaqueline Cristian on Tuesday, when she earned a lucky loser ticket to the main draw after Karolina Pliskova withdrew due to injury.

Saville, 30, happily took advantage of the second chance and won her first round match against American Hailey Baptiste on Wednesday.

But the Melbourne fighter found her match in Friday’s round of 16 match, beaten by 20th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-4 in the first match of Stadium 3 at the Caja Magica.

It is not the first time that Saville, in what is proving to be a bad run for Australian women’s tennis, was the only one to reach the main draw of one of the major European clay court tournaments, with her compatriots Taylah Preston and Astra Sharma. she having been eliminated in the classification.

But ‘Dasha’ continues to fly the flag, and her ranking will improve to 86th next week, a considerable jump from where she was 204th at the start of the year following what had been a tough comeback from injury in the 2023 season. .

A lot depends on her as the only Australian woman currently in the top 100, with Storm Hunter sidelined with a serious Achilles tendon injury and Ajla Tomljanovic yet to return after undergoing surgery to remove non-cancerous uterine tumours.

The Muscovite Saville, who went through the lower categories in Russia with Pavlyuchenkova, showed in her last duel with her former colleague that she still has a lot of fight to improve and get back close to the top-20 where she was. 2017 before her injury setbacks.

But ultimately, former French Open finalist Pavlyuchenkova was too powerful as she broke (for the fourth time) in the ninth game of the second set before securing victory in one hour and 27 minutes.

Meanwhile, on the main court of the Manolo Santana Stadium, defending champion Aryna Sabalenka had to overcome some serious resistance from Poland’s Magda Linette before advancing with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory.

Sabalenka, winner in 2021 and 2023, hopes it is an omen, as she also fell at the first hurdle in 2018, 2019 and 2022.

“Hopefully it’s a good sign and I’ll keep it that way,” the Belarusian smiled. “Either I lose in the first round or I win the title.”

Fourth seed Elena Rybakina, seeking her fourth title this year, also won, defeating Lucia Bronzetti 6-4 6-3, and will next face Egypt’s Mayar Sherif, who defeated Marta Kostyuk 6-3. 2 and 7-5.

Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva, who enjoyed her breakthrough tournament in Madrid last year, advanced by beating Linda Noskova 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

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