Daria Kasatkina vs. Sorana Cirstea, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
🇷🇺 (14) Daria Kasatkina vs. 🇷🇴 Sorana Cirstea

Daria Kasatkina and Sorana Cirstea will go head-to-head for the very first time when they meet at the second round stage of the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday. This looms as a great opportunity for both to gain some much needed confidence and kick-start their clay court campaigns after arriving in Madrid on the back of multiple opening round defeats.

Daria Kasatkina of Russia in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Kasatkina and Cirstea both arrives in Madrid having lost 3 matches in a row, both were able to break their losing steaks with hard-fought victories. Kasatkina claimed a 7-5 7-6 win over Qiang Wang whilst Cirstea defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-4 2-6 6-4.

It is Cirstea who has the far better recent record in Madrid. Cirstea has reached the quarter-final stage in Madrid in the last couple of years whilst Kasatkina has been defeated in the opening round in the last couple of years.

It will be interesting to see how this match pans out in their first career meeting.

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Daria Kasatkina vs Naomi Osaka, Indian Wells Final Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells Preview #BNPPO18
🏆🌵 Final: 🇷🇺 (20) Daria Kasatkina vs 🇯🇵 Naomi Osaka

The next generation is here! The first premier mandatory event will come to an exciting finale on Sunday as the 20th seeded Daria Kasatkina takes on Naomi Osaka, a pair 20-year-old’s. Kasatkina and Osaka have both beaten several quality opponents on route to the Indian Wells final, both dropping just 1 set on route to the final. This will be the first career meeting between Kasatkina and Osaka, two inexperienced players on this huge stage. With so much on the line, who will step up and make the most of this golden opportunity?

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during the semi-final of the 2018 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Kasatkina and Osaka will both be playing for the biggest title of their careers. In fact, Osaka is yet to win a WTA title and has only played in 1 final, beaten by Caroline Wozniacki in Tokyo in 2016. Kasatkina has 1 career title to her name, a triumph in Charleston on green clay last year. Kasatkina has played in 2 other finals, including a straight set loss to Elina Svitolina last month in Dubai.

Daria Kasatkina’s route to the final has been extremely impressive. The Russian stared the week with a straight set win over Katerina Siniakova before claiming 3 consecutive straight set wins over Grand Slam champions: 6-4 6-3 over Sloane Stephens, 6-4 7-5 over Caroline Wozniacki and 6-0 6-2 over Angelique Kerber. Kasatkina secured her spot in the biggest final of her career with a gripping 4-6 6-4 7-5 win over Venus Williams, a fourth consecutive victory over a Grand Slam champion and a 6th victory over a top 10 opponent in the last month and a half. Kasatkina was behind for the large majority of her win over Venus, at 4-5 0-30 down and on a second serve in the deciding set, it looked like Kasatkina was gone. The Russian showed great heart, she went on to drop just 1 point from that stage to claim one of the biggest wins of her career.




Naomi Osaka’s route to the final has also been impressive. Osaka has beaten 3 former / current world number 1’s. Osaka started the event with straight set wins over Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska, great wins over 2 very different opponents. Osaka then went on to beat Sachia Vickery in 3 sets before being pushed to a third set for the only time at this event as she beat Maria Sakkari in the fourth round. Osaka’s two most recent victories were arguably her most impressive, a 6-2 6-3 demolition of Karolina Pliskova and a 6-3 6-0 thrashing of Simona Halep. To drop a combined 8 games in wins over Pliskova and Halep is outstanding. There is no doubt that Osaka has shown consistency that we have never previously seen from her, a new sense of maturity and belief is evident in her game.

This match-up will feature a fascinating contrast in styles. The hard, flat hitting of Osaka against the heavy game of Kasatkina and the Russian’s outstanding movement. It will be interesting to see how this match pans out in the first career meeting between the two and with so much on the line, who will prevail?

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Venus Williams vs Daria Kasatkina, Indian Wells SF Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells SF Preview
🇺🇸 (8) Venus Williams vs. 🇷🇺 (20) Daria Kasatkina

Friday’s opening semi-final from the BNP Paribas Open sees the 8th seeded Venus Williams come up against the 20th seeded Daria Kasatkina. Williams and Kasatkina have both been very impressive on route to the semi-final stage in Indian Wells, both Williams and Kasatkina have reached the final 4 without dropping a set. The pair played out a couple of epic matches in 2016, both ended deep in a third set, split 1 win apiece. Expect another great battle between these two given how well they have both played in the Californian desert.

Venus Williams of the United States in action at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

The evergreen Venus Williams is into yet another semi-final, 16 years after she reached world number 1 for the first time. Venus has had to overcome all types of different challenges over the last week and a half. Most notably, Venus was able to defeat Serena for the first time in 4 years in the third round with a 6-3 6-4 victory. Venus also claimed a straight set win over Sorana Cirstea before booking her spot in the final 4 with wins over Anastasija Sevastova and Carla Suarez Navarro, two potentially tricky opponents for the American. Venus’s commanding 6-3 6-2 win over Suarez Navarro on Thursday evening was particularly impressive.

Daria Kasatkina is in red-hot form. Kasatkina has won 11 of her last 14 matches which includes a semi-final appearance in St. Petersburg and a runner-up performance in Dubai last month. Kasatkina continues to be a giant killer. Kasatkina has beaten 5 top 10 opponents in the last 2 months including back-to-back victories over top 10 opponents to reach the biggest semi-final of her career in Indian Wells. Kasatkina has rocketed past 3 Grand Slam champions in a row: a 6-4 6-3 win over Sloane Stephens, 6-4 7-5 over Caroline Wozniacki and finally a 6-0 6-2 demolition of Angelique Kerber. The slow, high bouncing hard courts in Indian Wells are proving perfect for the heavy Kasatkina forehand and her amazing defensive abilities.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Both matches were back in 2016, Kasatkina shocked Venus in Auckland, a 6-7 6-3 6-3 win before Venus outlasted Kasatkina in an epic at Wimbledon, 7-5 4-6 10-8. 2 years later, Kasatkina has improved dramatically but Venus has also improved. Who will emerge victorious on this occasion?

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Angelique Kerber vs Daria Kasatkina, Indian Wells QF Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells QF Preview
🇩🇪 (10) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇷🇺 (20) Daria Kasatkina

Angelique Kerber and Daria Kasatkina will renew hostilities when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the 2018 BNP Paribas Open. Kerber and Kasatkina both bring scintillating form into this final 8 clash in Indian Wells, whilst the head-to-head record between the pair is tied at 2-2. All signs point to a very close, competitive clash between two of the best movers on the tour.

Daria Kasatkina of Russia in action at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Kerber has rocketed through to the final 8 in Indian Wells after a slow start to the event. Kerber was in trouble in her opening round match as she trailed Ekaterina Markova by a set but the German responded strongly in a rain interrupted clash, winning 3-6 6-4 6-2. Kerber then overcame another troublesome start to defeat defending champion Elena Vesnina 7-5 6-2. There was no such slow start for Kerber in the fourth round where she thrashed Caroline Garcia 6-1 6-1 in what was a near-flawless performance by the 2-time major winner.

Daria Kasatkina is in some of the best form of her young career. Kasatkina ignited her reason last month with a semi-final showing in St. Petersburg and a run to the final in Dubai where she took out several big names such as Johanna Konta and Garbine Muguruza. Kasatkina has not dropped a set on route to the final 8 in Indian Wells. The 20th seed secured her spot in the quarter-finals by beating the two most recent Grand Slam champions, a 6-4 6-3 win over Sloane Stephens and a 6-4 7-5 win over Caroline Wozniacki. Kasatkina’s second win over Wozniacki in as many months was particularly impressive, not many players are able to outsmart Wozniacki but the Russian is making a habit out of doing just that.

This has proven to be a very close matchup. The head-to-head record between the two is split at 2 wins apiece. Their most recent match took place in Tokyo last year where Kerber won 7-6 6-3. The pair met on two other occasions in 2017, Kasatkina won 6-4 0-6 6-4 in Doha and 7-6 6-2 in Sydney.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs Daria Kasatkina, Indian Wells R4 Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R4 Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇷🇺 (20) Daria Kasatkina

Caroline Wozniacki and Daria Kasatkina will renew hostilities when they meet at the fourth round stage of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday evening. Wozniacki has obviously been one of the top performers in 2018 and will head into this match as the favourite. However, Kasatkina is also in great form and beat Wozniacki last month in St. Petersburg in straight sets.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Caroline Wozniacki laboured into the fourth round on Monday. Wozniacki was forced to work surprisingly hard to get past Aliaksandra Sasnovich, the second seed eventually claimed a hard-fought 6-4 2-6 6-3 victory over the Belarussian. Prior to Wozniacki’s third round win she defeated Lara Arruabarrena 6-4 6-1 after she had received a bye through the opening round. Wozniacki commented after her win over Sasnovich that she finds the Indian Wells surface very challenging because it is so slow and high bouncing, not the ideal conditions for the Dane who can be exposed on a surface like this.

Kasatkina is a player that certainly benefits from the unique conditions in Indian Wells. Kasatkina started the event with a straight set win over Katerina Siniakova before claiming an impressive 6-4 6-3 over Sloane Stephens. Kasatkina has the type of game that is benefited by the slow, high bouncing courts in Indian Wells. Those who play with heavy topspin are at an advantage on this surface, the Kasatkina forehand is a very heavy shot and was very effective in her victory over Sloane Stephens.

The head-to-head record between Wozniacki and Kasatkina is split at 1 win apiece. Wozniacki defeated Kasatkina 6-2 7-5 last year in Doha whilst more recently it was Kasatkina who claimed a 7-6 6-3 win at the quarter-final stage in St. Petersburg last month, can Kasatkina replicate that result and send the second seed packing?

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Elina Svitolina vs Daria Kasatkina, Dubai Final Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, 🏆 Final Preview
🇺🇦 (1) Elina Svitolina vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

Elina Svitolina is just 1 step away from successfully defending her title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and claiming her second title of the season. Standing in Svitolina’s way is an in-form Daria Kasatkina, the Russian heads into Saturday’s final in Dubai fresh off an epic, confidence boosting 3 set victory over Garbine Muguruza. Svitolina has an outstanding record in finals having won her last 6 finals, the Ukrainian holds an overall 10/2 record in championship matches. Can Svitolina build of her impressive record in finals on Saturday in Dubai?

Daria Kasatkina of Russia in action during the semi-final of the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier tennis tournament

Svitolina has been typically consistent in 2018, the world number 6 has amassed a 13/2 win/loss record. Svitolina won more titles than any other player in 2017 and is now one step away from winning a second title in 2018 having started the year winning the Brisbane International title. It has been a decent week for Svitolina, the top seed has improved her level progressively as her opponents became tougher. The 23-year-old started the week with a scrappy 3 set win over Qiang Wang before navigating her way past the threat of Naomi Osaka in straight sets. Svitolina confirmed her spot in Saturday’s final with a surprisingly comfortable 6-3 6-3 win over Angelique Kerber.

Daria Kasatkina is having an epic week in Dubai. The Russian has saved multiple match points on two occasions on route to the final, claiming epic wins over Johanna Konta and Garbine Muguruza. On both occasions where Kasatkina saved match points she also came from a set and a break down, her opponent served for the match on each occasion before Kasatkina won a second set tiebreak and run away with the match in the third set. Kasatkina has also claimed straight set wins over Agnieszka Radwanska and Elena Vesnina this week.

Svitolina has won both of the previous matches between the pair, neither have been easy victories. A 6-4 5-7 6-0 win in New Haven in 2016 and more recently a 7-6 6-4 win at the Rogers Cup last year. Svitolina and Kasatkina are two of the quickest players on tour, two of the best defenders, expect to see a tight final in Dubai, featuring a lot of long rallies.

Garbine Muguruza vs Daria Kasatkina, Dubai SF Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview
🇪🇸 (2) Garbine Muguruza vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

Garbine Muguruza and Daria Kasatkina will go head-to-head in the first semi-final at the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. If the last meeting between the pair is anything to go by, we are in for an exciting encounter. The most recent match between the pair took place in Brisbane last year, an epic which ended in a final set tiebreak, Muguruza saved match point on route to a memorable victory. Muguruza and Kasatkina are both in great form heading into this match, expect another close battle between two tough competitors.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during her quarter-final at the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier tennis tournament

Garbine Muguruza is having a good couple of weeks in the Middle East after a poor start to the season. The Spaniard ignited her 2018 season in Doha last week where she reached the final, Muguruza fell just short against Kvitova in what was a high quality, 3 set final. It was an important week for Muguruza in Doha given she was yet to win back-to-back matches heading into the event. After a short turnaround, Muguruza has done well to adapt to the conditions in Dubai. The second seed has won a couple of straight set matches to reach the semi-finals in Dubai, beating Catherine Bellis 6-3 7-5 and Caroline Garcia 7-5 6-2.

Daria Kasatkina has also seen a seen a significant reversal in her fortunes over the last few weeks. It all started for Kasatkina in St. Petersburg where she upset world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki on rote to a semi-final showing. It has been another impressive week for Kasatkina in Dubai. The Russian has beaten 3 quality opponents on rote to the semi-finals. The 20-year-old started the week with a straight set win over former champion Agnieszka Radwanska before coming from a set and a break down, saving match points to defeat Johanna Konta. Kasatkina confirmed her spot in the semi-finals with a 7-6 6-1 win over Elena Vesnina.

Muguruza has won both of the previous matches between the pair. A 6-4 6-1 win on clay in Marrakech in 2015 and more recently a hard-fought 7-5 3-6 7-6 victory at the Brisbane International last year.

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Daria Kasatkina vs Elena Vesnina, Dubai QF Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, QF Preview
🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina vs 🇷🇺 Elena Vesnina

Daria Kasatkina and Elena Vesnina will collide in an all-Russian quarter-final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday evening. This is a big opportunity for both Kasatkina and Vesnina to reach the semi-final stage of a premier level event. Kasatkina and Vesnina both enter this quarter-final with confidence after claiming upset victories over seeded opponents on Wednesday.

Daria Kasatkina of Russia in action at the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier tennis tournament

Daria Kasatkina has beaten a pair of quality opponents on route to the quarter-final stage in Dubai. Kasatkina started the week with a straight set victory over Agnieszka Radwanska before coming from a set down and saving match points to defeat Johanna Konta. Kasatkina’s 4-6 7-6 6-2 win over Konta was one of the biggest wins of her career, yet another top 10 victory for the talented young Russia.

Elena Vesnina is starting to gain some momentum right at the correct time. Vesnina has made a poor start to the year and has a large chunk of her points to defend in a few weeks’ time at Indian Wells where she is the defending champion. It is therefore important for Vesnina to gain some momentum this week and she seems to be doing just that. Vesnina started the week with a straight set win over Shuai Peng before defeating the 4th seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-1 7-6. Vesnina held her nerve at the critical moments in the second set, surviving the Ostapenko barrage.

It was Vesnina who won the only previous match between the pair. A 7-6 6-2 victory in Stuttgart last year.

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Johanna Konta vs Daria Kasatkina, Dubai R2 Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R2 Preview
🇬🇧 (7/wc) Johanna Konta vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

Johanna Konta became the first British woman to win a main draw match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday evening as she beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets. Konta is competing in Dubai for the first time in her career, the 7th seed will be back in action on Wednesday where she will come up against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in the second round.

Embed from Getty Images

Johanna Konta will be aiming to build on her decent recent form this week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Konta is yet to consistently show her best tennis in 2018 but she is certainly playing better than she did at the later stages of 2017. Konta arrived in Dubai fresh off a decent week in Doha where she won a couple of straight set matches against Bernarda Pera and Carla Suarez Navarro before succumbing to Angelique Kerber in a quality 3 set encounter. Konta started her Dubai campaign on Monday with a 7-6 6-2 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. After saving a few crucial break points at 4-4 in the opening set, Konta went on to win 24 of her last 27 service points in what was a fairly clinical performance by the Brit.

Daria Kasatkina also claimed her first ever victory in Dubai on Monday where she secured a 7-5 6-4 victory over former champion Agnieszka Radwanska. The signs were good for Kasatkina, most importantly she looked fit and healthy after having to retire injured in her opening round match in Doha last week. Kasatkina will face a very different test in the form of Konta in the next round, probably a much tougher challenge for the Russian.

It was Johanna Konta who the only previous match between the pair, a 6-3 7-5 victory in Sydney last year.

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Simona Halep vs Daria Kasatkina, Roland Garros R3 Preview

Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 R3 Preview + Prediction
(3) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs (26) 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

Tournament favourite Simona Halep will face her first big test of the event when she comes up against talented young Russian Daria Kasatkina in the third round on Saturday in Paris. Simona Halep had some injury concerns surrounding her Roland Garros campaign but has looked comfortable enough early in the tournament as she has cruised through her opening few matches. Daria Kasatkina also had some injury concerns heading into the event after being forced to retire injured in Rome. Kasatkina has had to work slightly harder for her first two wins but has still come through her first few matches in straight sets to set up a clash with Halep.

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