Angelique Kerber (GER) vs.  Daria Kasatkina (RUS)
Don’t be fooled by her innocent looking face and her deceptive style of play, Kasatkina has a well-rounded style of play that confounds her opponents. Kasatkina has spins, slices and power; she can play from the back of the court or charge the net. She can get into trouble when the courts are faster and she is rushed; however, the courts at Indian Wells are playing as slow as the clay courts in Monte Carlo, which gives the Russian enough time to change the trajectory and pace on her shots.
Kerber was frustrated immediately and was broken at 0-40 in her first service game. When you play someone like Kasatkina you need to work the points and be patient. Working the points requires confidence in your fitness and mental fortitude. Despite her disastrous 2017 season; Kerber shook that off and started 2018 playing consistently much better tennis. She won the title in Sydney, her first title since the US Open in 2016.
Today, there was no indication though that Kerber was mentally into this match. Perhaps her red-hot start to the season was catching up with her; she looked exhausted. Kasatkina in contrast, was energetic and running everything down.
Kerber is a major champion though; thus, it was expected that she would find a way to mount some resistance in the second set. Kasatkina, however, is not threatened by her higher ranked opponents. She dispatched of the current Australian Open champion, Caroline Wozniacki, in the previous round; the current US Open champion, Sloane Stephens, in the third round; and she has beaten Kerber twice in their previous four encounters.
Kerber finally won her first service game of the second set, surely she was ready to battle the Russian and claim the victory. Kasatkina was not about to fold. She never gave Kerber a chance to break her serve and broke the German five out of the six opportunities she had to win 6-0, 6-2 and her red-hot start continues.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: serveandrally (Daria Kasatkina)