Daria Kasatkina sealed a spot in her second Premier final of the year after she easily fended off the challenge of Irina-Camelia Begu in the semifinals of the Kremlin Cup, triumphing with a straightforward 6-3, 6-2 scoreline after just an hour and 24 minutes of play, putting in a solid and consistent performance. Kasatkina’s aggression certainly worked well, and she will look to claim the title in front of her home crowd tomorrow but faces a tough opponent in Julia Goerges.
Good start to the match for Kasatkina
In just her second semifinal appearance of the year, Kasatkina had the perfect start into the match as she managed to clinch a love service break in the opening game, looking extremely solid in the early stages. She won eight of the first nine points before Begu finally got onto the scoreboard with a narrow service hold. The Romanian started to fire on all cylinders, breaking straight back to level the scores, although her momentum just lasted momentarily.
Begu fails to stay consistent and Kasatkina takes the first set 6-2
The longest game of the match then featured 18-points being played, with Kasatkina finally converting on her fifth break point in the game to regain the lead as Begu started to misfire on all the important points. This time, Kasatkina was able to hold onto her lead and consolidate the break for a 4-2 lead, with her forehand being a vicious weapon throughout the match.
Unforced errors were the major downfall for Begu after she went down a double-break deficit within a blink of an eye as Kasatkina’s consistency earned her the commanding lead. Serving for the set, Kasatkina overcame her own unforced errors and nerves, eventually sealing the first set 6-2 after 42 minutes of play.
A galore of service breaks
The second set witnessed some inconsistencies from both players, with four consecutive breaks starting the set. Kasatkina started to collapse on her first serves, and Begu was visibly struggling with a shoulder problem after calling a medical time-out in between the two sets. Although the Romanian had an incredible 90 percent of first serves sent in, she only managed to win just nine points behind them as Kasatkina was too solid on the return.
Kasatkina breaks through and gets the win
From 2-3 down in the set, Kasatkina won eight consecutive points within a blink of an eye as the home favorite put herself in the driving seat to claim the win, leading by a set and a break. Begu threatened to immediately break back but she was unable to convert two break point opportunities as she threw in a couple of untimely errors which allowed Kasatkina to consolidate the break for a formidable 5-3 lead, edging closer than ever to the win.
Taking advantage of Begu’s unforced errors once more, the Russian was able to break serve for the seventh time in the match to take the victory after an hour and 24 minutes of play. With this win, Kasatkina is currently at 24 in the live rankings, and a win in the final will propel her into the top-20 for the first time in her career.