Sporting the colours of the Ukrainian flag, Australian qualifier Daria Saville has extended her form surge by beating ninth seed Ons Jabeur to reach the third round at the prestigious Indian Wells tournament.

It was Russian-born Saville’s first win over a top-10 ranked player since 2018.

Previously ranked as high as No.20 in 2017, Saville (nee Gavrilova) is set to rise further from a lowly No.409, having battled an achilles injury in recent seasons that eventually required surgery.

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Tunisian Jabeur reached the semi-finals in Indian Wells last year, but Saville’s relentless return game and defence ultimately prevailed in a 7-5 6-7 (0-7) 6-4 win in the Californian desert.

After struggling in Australia, Saville has struck a purple patch.

Three weeks ago in Guadalajara, Gavrilova outlasted top seed Emma Raducanu in the longest match of the WTA season.

She also took eventual champion Sloane Stephens to three sets before turning her sights on Indian Wells where she won through the qualifying event.

Fellow Australian Astra Sharma could not match Saville’s success, losing her second-round match to 13th seed Victoria Azarenka 6-3 7-5.

Top seed Aryna Sabalenka suffered a shock loss to Italian world No.46 Jasmine Paolini 2-6 6-3 6-3, as the hard-hitting Belarusian’s serve was broken four times and she committed 10 double faults.

World No.3 Sabalenka was a favourite to win the event after world No.1 Ash Barty and world No.2 Barbora Krejcikova withdrew ahead of the start of the WTA 1000 tournament.

Sabalenka follows Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza out the door after both top 10 players lost on Friday.

Also on Saturday, Paula Badosa kicked off her title defence with a 6-2 7-6 (7-4) win over Tereza Martincova.

Petra Kvitova needed every ounce of strength she had to battle past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4.

In other second round action, American Shelby Rogers was all smiles after taking down Latvian 10th seed Jelena Ostapenko and fourth-seeded Anett Kontaveit needed just over an hour to cruise past Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova.