St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, SF Preview
?? (4) Kristina Mladenovic vs ?? (8) Daria Kasatkina
Kristina Mladenovic is surprisingly close to defending her title in St. Petersburg. Despite arriving in St. Petersburg with 15 consecutives losses to her name, Mladenovic claimed two upset victories over solid opponents to advance to the final 4 in St. Petersburg. Mladenovic will face a big test on Saturday evening when she comes up against crowd favourite Daria Kasatkina for a spot in Sunday’s final.
Kristina Mladenovic may have arrived in St. Petersburg having lost 15 matches in a row, however she did arrive with some confidence after capturing the doubles title at the Australian Open alongside Timea Babos. Mladenovic started her title defense in St. Petersburg with a 6-4 6-4 win over Dominika Cibulkova before beating an injured Katerina Siniakova 6-4 6-3. Mladenovic is very much a confidence player which was extremely evident over the last year, the more she wins the more dangerous she becomes.
Daria Kasatkina’s results in 2018 have not been as good as she would have expected. After an early exit from the Australian Open, Kasatkina was straight back to Barcelona to train. The training seems to be paying off as the Russian caused a huge upset win over the reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to reach the final 4 in St. Petersburg. Kasatkina claimed her second victory over a world number 1, beating the Dane 7-6 6-3. Kasatkina has also beaten Viktoria Kuzmova and Alize Cornet on route to the final 4 in St. Petersburg.
It was Mladenovic who won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-2 6-3 win at the U.S Open in 2015.