Saville sets up Swiatek showdown at US Open 2023
Australian Daria Saville is set to face world No.1 Iga Swiatek after recording her first US Open singles victory in five years.
Daria Saville has made a promising start to her US Open 2023 campaign, powering past 17-year-old American wildcard Clervie Ngounoue in the opening round.
Saville needed only 73 minutes to complete a 6-0 6-2 victory against the reigning Wimbledon girls’ singles champion.
This is 29-year-old Saville’s first Grand Slam singles win since reaching the third round at Roland Garros in 2022 and her first triumph in New York since 2018.
World No.1 Iga Swiatek now awaits in the second round. The defending champion was equally ruthless in her opening round, conceding only a single game against world No.86 Rebecca Peterson of Sweden.
Saville lost her only previous meeting against the 22-year-old from Poland, in Adelaide last year. However, has recorded six wins against top-five opponents in her career.
The resurgent Saville will look to improve that record, as she continues her comeback from knee surgery.
“I like big stages, I’m not very shy,” Saville told WTAtennis.com. “I’ve played some of my best matches against top 10 players and feel like I can beat those players.”
After a nine-month absence, the former world No.20 returned to the tour in June. The US Open is only her seventh tournament – and third on hard courts – in her return.
Although Saville’s ranking has dipped to world No.322, she has now won seven of her past 10 matches.
Storm Hunter was unable to score a top-10 victory of her own at Flushing Meadows, bowing out in the opening round against Czech Karolina Muchova.
Also exiting was Kim Birrell, but only after pushing 2020 semifinalist Jennifer Brady in a high-quality affair.
Birrell served for the second set at 5-3, then saved a match point at 5-6, before eventually going down 6-3 7-6(4).
Olivia Gadecki also made a strong start in her clash with Russian teen Mirra Andreeva, before bowing out in three sets.
There was better news for Ajla Tomljanovic, who prevailed in three sets against Hungarian Panna Udvardy.
In men’s singles action, Rinky Hijikata recorded a breakthrough US Open victory against Russian Pavel Kotov. It was the 22-year-old wildcard’s first top-100 win at Grand Slam level.
Aussies in action – US Open
Women’s singles, first round
Daria Saville (AUS) d [WC] Clervie Ngounoue (USA) 6-0 6-2
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) d Panna Udvardy (HUN) 3-6 6-2 6-4
 Karolina Muchova (CZE) d [WC] Storm Hunter (AUS) 6-4 6-0
Mirra Andreeva d [Q] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) 1-6 6-3 6-4
Jennifer Brady (USA) d [LL] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) 6-3 7-6(4)
Men’s singles, first round
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) d Pavel Kotov 7-5 5-7 6-3 7-5
[Q] Dominic Stricker (SUI) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-3
Men’s singles, first round
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [Q] Timofey Skatov (KAZ)
Max Purcell (AUS) v Chris O’Connell (AUS)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Botic van de Zandschulp (NED)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v  Alexander Zverev (GER)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [Q] Hsu Yu-Hsiou (TPE)
Jason Kubler (AUS) v Matteo Arnaldi (ITA)
[LL] James Duckworth (AUS) v [Q] Felipe Meligeni Alves (BRA)
Men’s singles, second round
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Marton Fucsovics (HUN)
Women’s singles, second round
Daria Saville (AUS) v  Iga Swiatek (USA)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v  Elena Rybakina (KAZ)
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