In-form Daria Saville has advanced to her first WTA Tour final in almost five years in another huge US Open confidence booster for the revitalised Australian.
Saville progressed to the championship decider in Quebec without even hitting a ball on Friday after her scheduled semi-final opponent, Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, withdrew with a shoulder injury.
Saville will play Russian top seed Daria Kasatkina in the final looking to continue her inspired career renaissance ahead of the year’s last grand slam, starting in New York on Monday.
After starting the season ranked 419th following two years battling a debilitating foot injury, Saville will soar back into the world’s top 60 after reaching her first final since losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Hong Kong in October, 2017.
If she lands her first title since New Haven in 2017, the one-time world No.20 and former top-ranked junior will return to the top 50 for the first time since February, 2019.
“I’ve had a pretty good season since coming back (from injury), so I’m pretty happy and pretty proud of myself,” said Saville, a semi-finalist three weeks ago in Washington.
“I just want to keep going.”
Kasatkina, herself enjoying a career-high ranking of No.10, destroyed Frenchwoman Dianne Parry 6-2 6-0 in the second semi-final to live up to her top-seeded status.
“The beginning was a bit tight but I was able to handle the nerves and I’m very happy with the way I was playing from the middle of the first set,” Kasatkina said.
“To play finals is always great because we don’t make many, many finals, unfortunately, so I’m very excited.”
Win or lose Saturday’s title match against her ex-compatriot, Moscow-born Saville faces a swift turnaround because of her impressive lead-up form in Canada.
The 28-year-old will play Romania’s world No.102 Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the US Open first round at Flushing Meadows on Monday.