?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R1 Preview
?? Daria Kasatkina vs ?? Agnieszka Radwanska
The pick of the opening round matches on Monday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships sees Daria Kasatkina take on Agnieszka Radwanska in what should be a close, entertaining encounter. Kasatkina and Radwanska have both made unspectacular starts to 2018, this is an important match for both as both will be very desperate to avoid a first round loss as they look to ignite their seasons.
Daria Kasatkina has generally been in disappointing form in 2018. The Russian had a bad Australian summer where she managed to win just 1 match. There were signs of a form reversal in St. Petersburg a few weeks ago where the Russian upset reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki on route to the semi-finals. However, Kasatkina couldn’t back-up that win as she succumbed to Kristina Mladenovic in the semi-finals. it was back to disappointment in Doha last week as Kasatkina was forced to retire down a set and 1-4 against Catherine Bellis in the opening round.
Agnieszka Radwanska is still struggling to find the tennis that saw her remain in the top 10 for over 5 years. The Pole suffered another devastating loss last week in Doha, where she was beaten by Petra Kvitova in the second round despite leading by a set and a break. In hindsight it wasn’t a bad result for Radwanska given Kvitova went on to win the title. Radwanska is a former champion in Dubai having won the event in 2012, the conditions in Dubai have generally been to Radwanska’s liking.
It was Kasatkina who emerged victorious in the only previous match between the pair. Kasatkina defeated Radwanska 4-6 7-5 6-2 in what was a very high quality match in Beijing last year, one of the better wins of Kasatkina’s career.