San Diego, USA, 26 February 2024 | Leigh Rogers

San Diego, USA

Daria Saville has secured a main-draw spot at a WTA 500 tournament in San Diego.

The 29-year-old Australian completed a successful qualifying campaign with a 6-4 6-1 victory against Czech Linda Fruhvirtova.

Saville needed only 83 minutes to defeat the highly touted 18-year-old, whose ranking peaked at world No.49 last year.

It marks the third time that world No.148 Saville has qualified at a tour-level event since returning from knee surgery in June 2023.

The former world No.20 will now face China’s Zhu Lin in the opening round. Saville defeated world No.58 Zhu during her semifinal run in Hobart last month.

Taylah Preston is also competing in San Diego this week. The 18-year-old from Perth, a wildcard entry, plays Poland’s Magdalena Frech in the first round.

Aussies in action – San Diego

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
[10] Daria Saville (AUS) d [6] Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) 6-4 6-1

Women’s singles, first round
[Q] Daria Saville (AUS) v Zhu Lin (CHN)
[WC] Taylah Preston
v Magdalena Frech (POL)

Women’s doubles, first round
[2] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Katerina Siniakova (CZE) v Miriam Kolodziejova (CZE)/Katarzyna Piter (POL)
[3] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v Donna Vekic (CRO)/Zhu Lin (CHN)
Daria Saville (AUS)/Anna Blinkova v [4] Chan Hao-Ching (TPE)/Giuliana Olmos (MEX)

Austin, USA

Olivia Gadecki has qualified at a WTA 250 tournament in Austin.

The 21-year-old was leading 7-5 2-0 when her American opponent Shelby Rogers, a former world No.30, was forced to retire with a knee injury.

It is the fifth time that world No.143 Gadecki has qualified at a tour-level tournament in her young career.

Gadecki, who joins compatriot Arina Rodionova in the main draw, has been handed a tough first-round assignment. She will face American Danielle Collins, the Australian Open 2022 finalist and the tournament’s third seed.

Aussies in action – Austin

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
[7] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) d Shelby Rogers (USA) 7-5 2-0 ret.

Women’s singles, first round
Arina Rodionova (AUS) v [8] Yuan Yue (CHN)
[Q] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) v [3] Danielle Collins (USA)

Women’s doubles, first round
Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Olivia Nicholls (GBR) v Danielle Collins (USA)/Fernanda Contreras (MEX)
[WC] Maya Joint (AUS)/Sabina Zeynalova (UKR) v Elixane Lechemia (FRA)/Anna Siskova (CZE)

Acapulco, Mexico

Rinky Hijikata bowed out in the final qualifying round at an ATP 500 tournament in Acapulco.

American Aleksandar Kovacevic edged out a 4-6 6-2 7-6(4) victory to deny the 22-year-old Australian a spot in the main draw.

It was their second clash in six days, with world No.93 Kovacevic also winning in three sets in the second round at Los Cabos last week.

The 25-year-old Kovacevic has been pitted against another Australian in the opening round, where he’ll play newly crowned Los Cabos champion Jordan Thompson.

Aussies in action – Acapulco

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
[6] Aleksander Kovacevic (USA) d [3] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 4-6 6-2 7-6(4)

Men’s singles, first round
[3] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Taro Daniel (JPN)
Max Purcell (AUS) v [8] Frances Tiafoe (USA)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [Q] Aleksander Kovacevic (USA)

Men’s doubles, first round
[3] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Joe Salisbury (GBR) v John Peers (AUS)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Gonzalo Escobar (ECU)/Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

John-Patrick Smith and German partner Andreas Mies have fallen agonisingly short of qualifying for an ATP 500 tournament in Dubai.

The duo led 6-2 and then 10-9 in the deciding match tiebreak, before Indian Yuki Bhambri and Robin Haase from the Netherlands fought back to score a 6-7(2) 6-3 [12-10] victory.

Aussie hopefuls have been handed mixed fortunes in the singles main draw.

Chris O’Connell begins his campaign against German qualifier Maximilian Marterer, while Alexei Popyrin faces the in-form Karen Khachanov in a rematch of their semifinal showdown in Doha last week.

Aussies in action – Dubai

Men’s qualifying doubles, final round
[1] Yuki Bhambri (IND)/Robin Haase (NED) d [2] John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) 6-7(2) 6-3 [12-10]

Men’s singles, first round
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [4] Karen Khachanov
Chris O’Connell (AUS) v [Q] Maximilian Marterer (GER)

Men’s doubles, first round
[1] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v [WC] Skander Mansouri (TUN)/Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK)

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