By: Ben Raby (www.twitter.com/benraby31)
Daria Saville (right) is back in a WTA semifinal for the first time in more than four years. Saville avoided a letdown after her upset of No.1 Jessica Pegula on Wednesday, and held off Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
Saville jumped out to a 6-1, 3-0 lead before a nearly three-hour rain delay. Marino showed some jump once play resumed and broke Saville early, but the Australian ultimately prevailed.
With the win, Saville advanced to her first semifinal since Acapulco in February 2018. Limited on Tour in 2021 after undergoing surgery to address a chronic Achilles issue, Saville said this week that having the surgery has allowed her to return to the form she showed years ago.
“The reason why I really wanted that surgery,” the former World No.20 said, “I was like, ‘This is just not giving me a chance like to see my whole potential.’ I was hurting. So now I'm like, ‘Okay, you have a chance now every week to see how far you can go, how much improvement you can make. Like these little wins I take every single day or every single week.”
Saville, 28, will next face No.6 Kaia Kanepi in the semifinals on Saturday. Kanepi rallied to beat Anna Kalinskaya 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3 in the first quarterfinal match on Wednesday.