Even while preparing for a landmark day in her own tennis renaissance, an anxious Daria Saville was getting distracted by news of her other half at the French Open.
“I was watching the lives scores from Luke’s match,” she reflected.
“And I was thinking, it’s either going to be a really good day for us or a really bad one!”
Well, it turned out to be a really good one.
Because after Luke Saville, playing alongside his Aussie compatriot Jordan Thompson, had won his first round doubles, he scooted over to Court 7 to watch his wife enjoy the best win yet in her stirring singles comeback, supporting her in his own understated way.
It’s not often their very different schedules allow a luxury like this and ‘Dasha’ sounded as if she actually quite enjoyed seeing Luke at courtside, urging her on to her surprisingly dominant victory over Petra Kvitova.
“He’s not someone who’s going to be super loud, so it’s OK,” she smiled.
On Friday, the Melbourne couple will both be in action again, as Dasha takes centre stage in an attempt to reach the last-16 of a grand slam for the first time in five years since she got to the fourth round of the Australian Open.
She faces Martina Trevisan, an Italian friend she’s known since they were youngsters at a training camp in Livorno and played in an under-14s event.
“Oh my god, the funniest thing,” enthused the jaunty Saville.
“I beat her there in 2008 – epic match, I won in three and the home crowd wasn’t happy.
“I think it’s gonna be the same – long rallies, lots of screaming and ‘forzas, vamoses, allezs, come ons!'”
They’ve never met competitively as professionals but practised happily together the other day, with Saville still blissfully unaware at that stage that they were due to play each other in the third round.
Saville, set to break back into the top 100 after the Kvitova win, predicts another “epic” against left-hander Trevisan, who has just won her maiden WTA tournament in Morocco to shoot to a career-high ranking of 59 – and it does look a tough one to call.
Yet the Aussie believes she has definitely won in one area. The 1.66m-tall Saville often sighs that there aren’t many smaller players on tour than her, but of the 1.60m Trevisan, she grins: “I think I’ve got her!”
A last-16 place would be a considerable achievement for Saville, who, this time last year, was still slowly recovering from Achilles tendon surgery back in Melbourne, while Luke was globetrotting on the doubles circuit.
They barely had the chance to see each other last year before their wedding in December, but playing together in the mixed doubles at the Australian Open helped launch Dasha’s return to the big-time.
They had hoped to play the mixed doubles too at Roland Garros but didn’t make the cut.
Maybe that’s just as well, because wasn’t it supposed to be a recipe for divorce for a married couple to play mixed doubles together?
“Well, he did serve for it twice in that match in Australia – and we lost,” smiled Dasha, rolling her eyes.