French Open: Daria Kasatkina outfoxes Caroline Wozniacki to reach the quarterfinals

French Open: Daria Kasatkina outfoxes Caroline Wozniacki to reach the quarterfinals

Daria Kasatkina could not find her serve but used the other weapons in her arsenal to upset the number two seed, Caroline Wozniacki.

susan-regisford
Susan Regisford

It was an opportunity to get to the quarterfinals of Roland Garros and the magnitude of the occasion affected both players. Caroline Wozniacki started off by serving a double fault to get broken in the first service game of the match; however, Daria Kasatkina served three consecutive double faults to immediately give the break back to her opponent. There were three straight breaks of serves before each player held serve. Serving with a lead in the sixth game, Kasatkina’s serving woes continued and she was broken to put the match back on serve.

Photo Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe: Daria Kasatkina serves.
Photo Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe: Daria Kasatkina serves.

Wozniacki Takes Lead In Eighth Game

Clearly rattled by her faulty first serve, Kasatkina lost the rhythm on her ground strokes and Wozniacki capitalized with some ferocious backhand winners to break her a second consecutive time. As the Dane got more comfortable, the pace on her shots increased; however, the nerves resurfaced and she faltered on serving for the set at 5-3. The pressure of the occasion continued to impact their games; however, although Kasatkina had no pace on her first serves, she competed well and she broke the Dane to increase the drama in set one.

Photo Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe: Caroline Wozniacki's serve let her down at a crucial point.
Photo Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe: Caroline Wozniacki's serve let her down at a crucial point.

Plagued By Nerves

Just when it appeared that Wozniacki had settled into the match, she offered up three break points in the eleventh game to the Russian. Unfortunately, Kasatkina failed to capitalize and Wozniacki escaped to keep her nose in front in the first set. Kasatkina was still struggling to control the nerves and it was evident when she missed a couple shots into the net; yet, she was determined and held to force the first set to a tiebreak. Wozniacki, frustrated after she sent a return long on a serve that was only 65 MPH, slammed her racquet on the court. Despite the nerves, Kasatkina befuddled the Dane with the lack of pace on her shots to win the tiebreak 7-6(5) after Wozniacki had taken a 4-2 lead.

Set Two Drama

At 1:1 in the second set, both players approached the umpire and asked for play to be suspended. After a prolonged discussion with two supervisors, the players were forced to resume play. At 3:3 both players again approached the umpire and the match was suspended due to darkness. Play resumed and it was imperative for both players to hold serve because a break by either would give that player the opportunity to serve for the set and potentially the match in Kasatkina’s case. Kasatkina double faulted immediately but reverted to just getting her serves in and was able to hold her serve. Wozniacki was not that fortunate and she lost her serve despite putting up a fight to stay even with the Russian.

Photo Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe: Daria Kasatkina hits a forehand winner.
Photo Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe: Daria Kasatkina hits a forehand winner.

Misleading Stats

Although Kasatkina’s first serve was very high at eighty percent, the average pace of her serve was 76.43mph; yet, she managed to win a higher percentage than her opponent. Wozniacki had a higher success rate on her second serve but it was not enough to counteract the variety of shots and changing pace that Kasatkina utilized to disrupt her rhythm. With the 7-6(5), 6-3 defeat, Kasatkina improves to 3:1 in their head-to-head.

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