Daria Saville has made an impressive start to the Miami Open beating an opponent ranked 168 above her.

The 28-year-old beat Belgium’s Greet Minnen, ranked 81 in the world, 7-5 6-3 in just over two hours.

Saville, is ranked 249 in the world after several periods of injury, having been a top-20 player five years ago.

She forced 13 break points in the opening set, winning just two, but the latter of those secured the set. The second stanza was more straightforward.

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Saville now faces two-time grand slam champion Simona Halep.

With Storm Sanders having lost in straight sets to Xinyu Wang in qualifying earlier on Tuesday, there are just two other Australians in the 128-player draw.

They have contrasting match-ups. While Astra Sharma faces former world No.1 Naomi Osaka, Ajla Tomljanovic will meet a qualifier.