Daria Saville wins first round as lucky loser at Madrid Open, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Aleksandar Vukic, Alexei Popyrin knocked out

Daria Saville wins first round as lucky loser at Madrid Open, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Aleksandar Vukic, Alexei Popyrin knocked out
  • PublishedApril 25, 2024

Daria Saville is once again on her lonesome as the only Australian women in the main singles draw at the Madrid Open this week.

The ATP side of the clay court tournament features seven Australians — including seeds Alex de Minaur and Jordan Thompson, who had byes into the second round.

Thanasi Kokkinakis, Aleksandar Vukic and Alexei Popyrin lost in the first round, while Christopher O’Connell and Max Purcell are yet to start their tournaments.

Meanwhile, Saville remains the sole Australian in the top 100 on the WTA rankings.

After going down to Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian in the second round of qualifying, Saville made it into the main draw in Madrid as a lucky loser after a number of withdrawals.

In the opening round she took down American Hailey Baptiste 6-4, 7-6(7/5) in a two-hour-and-20-minute slog to reach a second-round clash with 2021 French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

It is the third straight main draw at a WTA 1000 event for Saville and the second, after Indian Wells in California, where she has been the only Australian on the women’s side.

Storm Hunter competed alongside her in Miami and qualified alone for Dubai, although neither managed to get past the second round at any of the events. (Hunter reached the third round of the Australian Open as a qualifier).

There is one more 1000 event in Rome between Madrid and Roland Garros, where Saville reached the third round in 2018 and 2022.

The 30-year-old, who jumped from 96th to 86th on the WTA’s live rankings with her win over Baptiste, will be hoping to get another hit-out in Rome from May 7 to May 19 before the French Open starts a week later.

The Italian event will hold happy memories for Hunter, who will be looking to defend the doubles title she won with Elise Mertens in 2023.

SOURCE: ABCNEWS

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