Women’s Final:  Daria Kasatkina (RUS) vs.  Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
In the battle of teenagers, a lot was at stake and everything depended on who handled the emotions of the occasion better. Mental fortitude was the key to victory. Even experienced tennis players still feel a twinge of nervousness when they step to the line to serve out the match for the title. In fact, it is expected that the first few games may have a plethora of errors as the players try to settle the nerves. Today’s match was no exception. It was the first career WTA singles final appearance for Kasatkina, and while it was the third singles final appearance for Ostapenko, they both had the same pressure. It is the pressure of trying to claim your first career singles title on Tour. Everyone handles that pressure differently; yet, there is one common denominator, it has a negative impact on the game of those who are unable to handle it.
After years of following this sport, I cannot say that I have ever seen one player not affected by nerves. I will say that some players are better equipped to handle the pressure; thereby, masking the negative effects better than their opponents. Add to the equation that these were two teenagers and it’s understandable why there were so many dips in the match. Maintaining your focus is difficult for veteran players, just imagine how much more difficult it is for younger inexperienced players. Fighting through patches when your shots aren’t working and your doubts are things they each dealt with in today’s match; however, they were both still able to produce some brilliant tennis.
They each wanted this badly and fought through the nerves and each other to the very end. Congratulations to Kasatkina who won 6-3, 6-1 and claimed her first WTA career singles title..
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