Daria Saville garnered another big win in her resurgent season, ousting No.1 seed and defending champion Jessica Pegula 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the Citi Open on Wednesday.
Saville is now 3-3 against Top 20 opposition this year, and she notched her second Top 10 win of 2022 with her 1-hour and 38-minute victory over World No.7 Pegula. Saville also earned a Top 10 win over Ons Jabeur at Indian Wells in March.
Comeback continues: A former Top 20 player, Saville was ranked as low as World No.627 as recently as February of this year, following Achilles tendon surgery, which kept her out of action for almost the entire 2021 season.
But the 28-year-old Aussie has rapidly charged back into the Top 100, bolstered by a quarterfinal run at WTA 1000 Miami and a Round of 16 showing at WTA 1000 Indian Wells.
After beating Pegula in their first meeting, Saville is now into her third quarterfinal of the year, all on hard courts, after Miami and WTA 250 Guadalajara.
Match moments: Pegula was perfect behind her first serve through 4-4, but it went wrong for the defending champion in the following game as Saville broke the top seed at love.
Pegula, who won her first WTA singles title at the most recent edition of the Citi Open in 2019, pulled back level at 5-5, only to drop her serve again and give Saville a 6-5 lead. Saville closed out the one-set lead on her second opportunity.
Saville broke serve in the first game of the second set, but Pegula had six chances to break back over the remainder of the match. Saville saved every one of those break points, never relinquishing her lead as she closed out another Top 10 win.
Marino next: Saville will take on Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino in the quarterfinals, in their first meeting. World No.111 Marino knocked off a former Top 10 player for the second match in a row, taking out Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 on Wednesday.
Following a pair of three-set victories in qualifying, Marino, 31, started the main draw with a come-from-behind win over former World No.1 Venus Williams, who was playing her first singles match in nearly a full year.
Marino made it a fourth consecutive three-set win this week with her 1-hour and 53-minute upset of World No.68 Petkovic. The Canadian, who has made a comeback after four years off tour between 2014 and 2017, is into her first tour-level quarterfinal since 2018 Quebec City.
Kalinskaya advances after Halep retirement: World No.71 Anna Kalinskaya also booked a spot in the quarterfinals Wednesday, after former World No.1 Simona Halep retired from their match due to illness while Kalinskaya led 7-5, 2-0.
Halep fought back from 4-0 down in the first set, but the No.3 seed did not hold a 40-0 lead at 5-5, and Kalinskaya broke for 6-5 before serving out the set. Kalinskaya grabbed an early break in the second set before an ailing Halep was unable to continue.
Kalinskaya is now 7-1 at the Citi Open over the last two editions (including qualifying matches). She made the semifinals as a qualifier in the most recent edition of the event in 2019.