Paris, France, 23 May 2022 | Darren Parkin

Daria Saville’s career resurgence continues, with the popular Australian charging into the second round at Roland Garros.

Saville dominated her clash with Valentini Grammatikopoulou, claiming her 6-1 6-2 victory in one hour and 10 minutes.

Saville has already seen her ranking jump from outside the top 600 to world No.127 in the past six months, with her year highlighted by a strong US campaign in which she reached the fourth round at Indian Wells before a quarterfinal appearance in Miami.

The 28-year-old Australian lost all three clay lead-up matches but did not miss a beat in a powerful opening round display against her Greek opponent at Roland Garros.

Striking 15 winners to nine from Grammatikopoulou, she created 11 break point chances to two – converting five of them and winning 56 per cent of her points on return.

Saville was making her first appearance at a Slam outside of Australia since Roland Garros in 2020, and won just her third Grand Slam match since 2018 in a career disrupted by injury.

The former world No.20, who has twice reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, has been on the comeback from an Achilles injury. She has gone 16-10 since her return in the Billie Jean King Cup last year.

Saville has made some adjustments to her serve and court position this year in a move partly designed to protect her body, and also strengthening her game.

“I was trying to hold the baseline and I don’t like that. I’m way too rushed, I don’t have time. This is not working for me. The reason why we did that was because of my Achilles. We thought if I’m more aggressive hopefully I’ll run less, but it just doesn’t work for me. I didn’t like it,” Saville told the WTA in California last month.

“We looked at the Hawkeye data and I was standing way closer to the baseline. I was like, compare me to Halep and Barty and I was way closer to the baseline. I don’t think that’s good for me. So I was like, ‘OK, I’m going back, let’s just see how it works’.”

Saville also revealed she’d recently made adjustments to her backhand and serve, achieving greater control and overall efficiency.

She’ll draw on those qualities when she takes on two-time Wimbledon champion and world No.34 Petra Kvitova next in Paris. The match-up with Kvitova has been kind to the Australian, who won three of the pair’s last four meetings.

Ajla Tomljanovic has joined Saville in the second round, eliminating world No.5 Anett Kontaveit in one of the biggest wins of her career.

> READ: Tomljanovic stuns Kontaveit at Roland Garros

Jordan Thompson and James Duckworth’s campaigns are over however, with both bowing out in the opening round.

While inclement weather meant John Millman was unable to complete his scheduled match.

Aussies in action – Roland Garros

Women’s singles, first round
[WC] Daria Saville (AUS) d [Q] Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE) 6-1 6-2
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) d [5] Anett Kontaveit (EST) 7-6(5) 7-5

Men’s singles, first round
[5] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-2 6-2 6-2
Mikael Ymer (SWE) d James Duckworth (AUS) 6-2 6-4 6-2

Men’s singles, first round
[19] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Hugo Gaston (FRA)
John Millman (AUS) v [27] Sebastian Korda (USA) 0-1 to finish

Men’s singles, second round
[Q] Jason Kubler (AUS) v [10] Cameron Norrie (GBR)

Women’s singles, second round
[WC] Daria Saville (AUS) v [32] Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v Varvara Gracheva (RUS)

> READ: 14 Aussies to contest doubles at Roland Garros 2022

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