Daria Saville in brutal act after awful Storm Hunter news for Aussie tennis team

Storm Hunter was ruled out of Australia's tie after a devastating injury.

Daria Saville has made an emphatic statement for the Aussie tennis side in the Billie Jean King Cup on Friday, with a stunning victory in the wake of teammate Storm Hunter's devastating injury. Hunter was ruled out of Australia's tie against Mexico in Brisbane on Friday after rupturing her achilles tendon but Saville stepped in to take her place in style.

Arina Rodionova got the Aussie team off to a flying start after coming from a set down to beat Guliana Olmos 3-6 6-3 6-1 in the opening singles rubber. Saville - who was originally overlooked for the singles in favour of Hunter by captain Sam Stosur - then put the Aussies within one victory of securing their passage to the BJK Cup finals with a commanding straight sets win over Marcela Zacarias in just 51 minutes.

Pictured left is tennis star Daria Saville and Australia BJK Cup teammate Storm Hunter on the right.
Daria Saville's emphatic win put the Aussies one match victory away from making the BJK Cup finals after a devastating injury to Storm Hunter. Pic: AAP

Saville thumped her Mexican opponent 6-1 6-0 in a brutal statement victory that leaves the seven-time champion Aussies now just one match-win away from reaching November’s finals, with the reverse singles and doubles to come. Rodionova overcame a shaky start to get the Aussies on the board, but Saville had no such problem as she thrashed Zacarias to put Australia in a dominant position.

It came after scans confirmed that Hunter ruptured her achilles tendon in an awful blow for Australian tennis. Hunter was practicing ahead of the Billie Jean King Cup tie in Brisbane on Friday when she suffered the injury while running for a ball.


Hunter was slated to play both singles and doubles in the tie against Mexico, but she was replaced by Saville for the singles. The injury will likely rule Hunter out for the next 4-6 months, meaning she will miss the Olympics in Paris where she was a genuine medal contender in doubles.

She will also likely miss the next three grand slams - the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. "I am devastated and heartbroken but incredibly grateful to be around the team and I know I have a great group of people around me that will help me get back on court as soon as possible," she said on Friday after scans confirmed the injury. "Thank you so much everyone for the messages of support and love, I'm excited to stay for the tie and support our Aussie girls."

Daria Saville gets reprieve after Storm Hunter injury

Australian captain Sam Stosur initially made the bold call to leave out Saville for the BJK Cup singles and went with Rodionova alongside Hunter instead. Hunter was hoping to play a starring role in the competition's first tie in Australia since 2019, on the back of her inspiring run from qualifying to make the third round at the Australian Open in January.

Daria Saville with the rest of Australia's Billie Jean King Cup team.
Daria Saville (bottom middle) with the rest of Australia's Billie Jean King Cup team.

On Thursday, Stosur described the injury as a "very serious". Saville, who was initially overlooked for singles action despite being Australia's highest-ranked woman, replaced Hunter in the qualifier. "We're all rallying behind Storm and wishing her the very best," Stosur said before the tie, with Hunter watching and cheering the Aussies on against Mexico from the stands.

Arina Rodionova, Sam Stosur and Daria Saville.
BJK Cup captain Sam Stosur initially overlooked Daria Saville in favour of Arina Rodionova. Image: Getty

Daria Saville makes most of late call-up

Saville initially missing out was somewhat of a surprise as she has enjoyed a successful start to 2024 as she looks to regain the form that saw her reach World No.20. The Aussie endured an up-and-down 2023 season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament tear in 2022.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 10: Daria Saville of Australia during a practice session ahead of the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier between Australia and Mexico, at Pat Rafter Arena on April 10, 2024 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Last week Daria Savile surged back into the women's top 100 rankings and is currently ranked 94th in the world.

But her persistence has paid off, last week surging back into the top 100. In doing so Saville (No.93) took over from Rodionova (No.103) as Australia's top-ranked female. Saville was a late arrival in BJK Cup camp after reaching the second round of the Charleston Open in the US last week.

Australia needs to beat Mexico to earn a spot in the 12-nation finals, which will be played in Spain in November. They bowed out in the 12-team finals stage last year after making the title match in 2022 and Stosur is prepared to make the hard calls to get Australia back into the finals this year.

with AAP