Daria Saville opens up on her ADHD and 'toughest cirumstance' from 2023 Wimbledon

Saville, 30, explains the challenges of playing pro tennis while dealing with an attention deficit disorder.

by Dzevad Mesic
Daria Saville opens up on her ADHD and 'toughest cirumstance' from 2023 Wimbledon
© Getty Images Sport - Morgan Hancock

Daria Saville has very openly opened up about her ADHD diagnosis and "a chaotic" situation from last year's Wimbledon as the Australian tennis star admits she instantly started asking herself why a streaker had to come to one of her matches. 

Saville, who turned 30 in March, has had tough luck with injuries in the last couple of years but last summer she managed to play at Wimbledon after being sidelined for 10 months due to torn ACL. And after drawing Great Britain's Katie Boulter, Saville got full stands for her opening match and The Princess of Wales being among the visitors drew even more attention to the match.

On top of all that, Saville heard some spectators imitating fart noises and the match got suspended late in the first set after a climate activist ran onto the court and threw confetti and jigsaw pieces. While the streaker was quickly removed from the court, some cleaning needed to be done and even the 30-year-old Australian offered her help, helping staff remove the confetti and jigsaw pieces.

At the time of the incident, Saville was leading 4-2 in the first-set tie-break. When the match continued five minutes later, Boulter won the next five points to win the tie-break and then easily claimed the second set to complete a 7-6 (4) 6-2 win.

“I’ve always struggled with concentration, so it is probably the toughest circumstances I have had to deal with,” Saville told Fox Sports Australia.

“It was, ‘Oh my god, why on my court?’. I am the worst at being able to focus.”

Daria Saville and Wimbledon staff
Daria Saville and Wimbledon staff © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Saville tells how she forgot to take her bags with herself before her 2023 US Open match

Saville, who has one WTA title in her collection and was ranked as high as No. 45 in 2017, admits it is not that hard to distract her and one situation from last year's US Open is the best example of that. As the Australian was preparing to go to the court for her US Open first-round match, she left the hotel without her tennis bags. Luckily for her, her coach asked her where were the bags so they didn't leave with their ride before picking up everything that they needed. 

“I think on the court, I can focus. I can get into a flow state. But I also get very easily distracted. I see everything and everyone,” Saville said.

“I used to tell myself, ‘Dasha, keep your eyes on the court. Focus’. But now it is more like, ‘Okay. I can get distracted. I can have my thoughts and that is just normal’. As long as I can refocus, that is how I deal with just being on the tennis court.

“But it has probably affected my life more, just forgetting everything. Before my first round match (at the US Open last August), I literally left my tennis bag in the hotel. I walked out to get my transport and luckily my coach said, ‘Dasha, where is your tennis bag?’. It was just by chance and I thought, ‘Oh my God’. I had brought a change of clothes, but not my tennis bag or my racquets.

“There are just little things like that which always happen to me. But my team is aware of it, so they are on me about everything.”

Daria Saville
Daria Saville © Getty Images Sport - Steve Bell

Saville on how her team supports her 

Since Saville's entire team is well aware of her ADHD and how it can impact her at times, they do their best to support the Australian by remembering everything for her and also trying to leave her with as little tasks as possible. 

“It is about them reminding me of things or trying to make my life stress free. It can be booking courts, they’ll do that, or putting racquets in to be be restrung, they’re going to do that,” Saville said.

Daria Saville
Daria Saville © Getty Images Sport - Fran Santiago

On Friday, Saville learned that she will be taking on Peyton Stearns in the Wimbledon first round. Going into The Championships, the 30-year-old is preparing for usual challenges that she deals with during Slams. 

“Especially at Grand Slams, it is hectic and I get distracted very easily. I will see someone and want to have a chat, or I will completely forget where I am going. At smaller events, it is easier to manage myself. But (grand slams are tiring), but I think that’s for everyone. It is not just me.

In the same interview, Saville also said that she can only fully relax if she knows that all of her tasks are completed.

Daria Saville Wimbledon