Kasatkina hopes to derail Svitolina’s plans

Kasatkina hopes to derail Svitolina's title defense

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, UAE


Women’s Semifinals: [3] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) vs. [24] Daria Kasatkina (RUS)

Despite the initial long first game, things were going Muguruza’s way; she won the first set 6-3 and was up an early break in the second set until things went awry. Serving for the match at 5-4, Kasatkina showcased her strong mental fortitude and broke back to force a tiebreak.

RussianMuguruza had more opportunities to win the match; however, Kasatkina fought off three match points in a thrilling tiebreak to even the match. In the process, she broke the will of Muguruza. The disappointment of coming so close to victory and losing the set lingered and Muguruza lost her first service game of the third set. Dejected and frustrated, Muguruza lost her focus and the errors mounted. Kasatkina won 3-6, 7-6(11), 6-1. Does Kasatkina have one more victory in her? She has fought so hard to get to the final, she may be too depleted against the defending champion tomorrow.



Women’s Semifinals: [4] Elina Svitolina (UKR) vs. [9] Angelique Kerber (GER)

Their matches have always been battles that showcase their brilliant tennis skills as well as their varied emotions. Today’s match was no exception. Kerber ran the gamut of emotions, from elation to frustration and dejection. It was a very nervous start for both, there were five consecutive breaks of serve before Svitolina finally held serve. However, it was not an easy hold, despite the emotional/mental state of Kerber, she kept fighting. Yet, it is sometimes difficult to turn it off and on and when Kerber tried to rely on her shots at crucial moments, she made errors. She was undone by unforced errors in the first set and six of them were double faults.

The second set also had moments of high quality tennis from both; however, once again Kerber’s game was dictated by her emotional/mental state and unforced errors also ruled at critical moments. They both held their first game and then traded breaks. Kerber double faulted to be broken for the second consecutive service game and she never recovered. Svitolina won 6-3, 6-3 and is still on track to defend her title.

SOURCE OF IMAGE:  Zimbio.com (Francois Nel/Getty Images Europe: Elina Svitolina)

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