WTA Moscow: Daria Kasatkina eases into the quarterfinals

Playing some of her best tennis, Daria Kasatkina put up a clinical display of aggressive counterpunching tennis after ousting Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-3 after an hour and 22 minutes of play.

WTA Moscow: Daria Kasatkina eases into the quarterfinals
Daria Kasatkina would be pleased with her performance today | Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images North America
Katerina Siniakova
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Daria Kasatkina

Daria Kasatkina excelled in front of her home crowd after an impressive performance against Katerina Siniakova in the second round of the Kremlin Cup, where she prevailed easily in straight sets. The Russian, who enters the quarterfinals for the third consecutive year, now has the golden opportunity to reach a second WTA final as she is the highest-ranked player left in her half of the draw.

Kasatkina grabs the early lead

Siniakova came into the match firing, though she was unable to keep up the high level of play throughout the match, she clinched the service hold in the opening game within a blink of an eye, with her tactics of overpowering the defensive Russian being effective. Kasatkina then got onto the scoreboard after prevailing in a tough game which saw her come from 0-30 down to remain on serve. Unexpectedly, it was the home favorite who made the first breakthrough as Siniakova started to misfire all her groundstrokes and hit an unforced error on break point to gift Kasatkina the lead.

Daria Kasatkina in action at the China Open | Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images AsiaPac
Daria Kasatkina in action at the China Open | Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images AsiaPac

Siniakova loses her cool and the Russian claims the opening set

The Russian was able to easily consolidate the break, opening up a 3-1 lead and was looking extremely comfortable out on Court 1. After an exchange of service holds, Siniakova had the golden opportunity to retrieve the break back but was unable to convert a break point as the Czech threw in yet another unforced error. Kasatkina ultimately sealed the narrow service hold and the world number 52 would rue her missed chances as her emotions started to get the better of her, affecting her play.

Siniakova failed to find her consistent first serves and was broken for the second time in the set, allowing Kasatkina to earn the golden opportunity to serve out the set. Without facing any problems on her serve, the Russian then comfortably served out the set 6-2 after just 37 minutes of play.

A similar story as compared to the first set

With her variety of play disturbing Siniakova’s rhythm on her groundstrokes, Kasatkina was simply firing on all cylinders as she broke serve in the opening game of the second set. However, the Czech was able to break straight back as she played her best return game of the match, returning level on serve. Attacking Kasatkina’s backhands, Siniakova’s tactics worked momentarily before the Russian was able to regain her composure and lead by a set and a break once again.

Katerina Siniakova in action at the China Open | Photo: Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images AsiaPac
Katerina Siniakova in action at the China Open | Photo: Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images AsiaPac

Kasatkina claims the win

Lengthy games on Siniakova’s serve soon followed but the Czech was clinical on the important points, finding her groove at all the clutch moments as Kasatkina was just too passive on those points. The Russian wasted an incredible total of 10 break points in two return games and she was in huge danger of losing her lead after Siniakova earned a pivotal break point in the eighth game.

However, she produced some incredible defensive skills to fend it off before holding on for a 5-3 lead, being just a game away from victory. Siniakova totally lost the plot while serving to stay in the match, and Kasatkina was just too good as she ultimately sealed the win after an hour and 22 minutes of play.