Daria Kasatkina is a player who is only 20 years old but has been on the tour for quite some time. However today against American qualifier CiCi Bellis the Russian ran out of ideas.
The Russian who has one WTA singles title to her name has wins against Venus, Halep and Kerber before a victory over the new world number one Wozniacki early on in the year but couldn’t get the better of the 18 year old.
I couldn’t really fault Bellis during the match. There was a period towards the end of the first set where she had a lead but lost it losing 10/12 points in succession but I think part of it was other thinking and looking ahead and the shots which were winners were turning into errors.
Kasatkina didn’t play a great match but kept herself in rallies during this period with the backhand slice which I’ve said time and time again is a key shot to playing well and winning and winning when not playing so well but you cannot over-rely on it at all and I felt once she found comfort she stayed there but she needed to progress her game if she wanted to progress in Qatar.
Image Credit – BT Sport
To the teenagers credit she performed well opening the court with the forehand, using the backhand to stamp authority on rallies and managed the net well.
Mid-way during the second set the Russian did receive a medical time out and have some issues with her neck and a few games later retired 7-5 4-1 30-15 down.