Daria Kasatkina continues her rise after beating Daniela Hantuchova at Indian Wells - UBITENNIS
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Daria Kasatkina continues her rise after beating Daniela Hantuchova at Indian Wells



Russian teenager and World Number 48 Daria Kasatkina beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-2 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes. Kasatkina hit 21 winners and made 17 unforced errors to Hantuchova’s 21 winners to 33 unforced errors.


Kasatkina got an early break in the first set. The young Russian did not face a single break point in the first set and got the double break to close out the first set 6-2. Hantuchova made 19 unforced errors to Kasatkina’s just 4 in the first set.

Hantuchova saved two break points at the start of the second set but dropped her serve in the third game. The former top-ten from Slovakia did not convert a point for 4-2 before Kasatkina broke serve to love in the next game. As Hantuchova served to stay in the match, Kasatkina rallied from 0-40 but the Slovakian player held her serve. Kasatkina converted the first of her three match points to serve out for the match.

The young Russian player has advanced for the first time in a Premier Mandatory. She will face number 6 seed Carla Suarez Navarro, who won her biggest title in Doha last month.

Kasatkina, who was born in Togliatty on 7th May 1997, scored the biggest win of her career last January when she beat Venus Williams 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 in the first round at the ASB Classic in Auckland. She lost in the third round to Serena Williams at this year’s Australian Open. She lost to another teenager Belinda Bencic 4-6 3-6 in the semifinal at St. Petersburg. In the Russian tournament Kasatkina beat former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova 4-6 7-5 6-3.

Kasatkina and her doubles partner Elena Vesnina broke Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza’s winning streak record of 41 consecutive doubles matches at the Qatar Open in Doha where they reached the semifinals. In the Doha singles tournament Kasatkina lost to Roberta Vinci 6-2 4-6 6-7 (3-7) after earning three match points in the third set.

For the first time since 2009, there are three teenagers inside the top 50. Kasatkina has joined this exclusive club together with Belinda Bencic (finalist in St. Petersburg) and Jelena Ostapenko (finalist in Doha).

Kasatkina climbed nearly 300 ranking places between 2014 and 2015 to reach world number 72 and was nominated for the WTA Newcomer of the Year Award. During the 2015 season Kasatkina won five ITF titles and won her first WTA main draw match last July in Bad Gastein. She beat Alexandra Krunic before reaching the quarter finals where she pushed Sara Errani to three sets. Kasatkina reached the third round at the 2015 US Open in her first Grand Slam tournament and qualified for the semifinal at the Premier tournament in Moscow. She came through three qualifying rounds before beating two top-30 players Carla Suarez Navarro and Irina Camelia Begu.

Kasatkina has risen 36 places in the WTA Ranking in the first two months of 2016. Kasatkina was introduced to tennis by her brother at the age of six. Her favourite stroke is her forehand. Her favourite surface is clay. A trademark of her game is her ability to come forward and close out points at the net.

It was the second consecutive first-round defeat for Hantuchova, who won the Indian Wells tournament twice in 2007 and 2007.

“It’s the first time here and I am really happy to be here. It’s always difficult to play your first match of the tournament, especially against such a good player like Daniela and it’s my first match on such a good court. I didn’t know I am playing against Suarez Navarro because I didn’t see the draw. Carla is playing well and won her last tournament, so I have to play my best tennis to beat her”, said Kasatkina.

In other matches of the first round at Indian Wells Margarita Gasparyan beat Olga Govortsova 6-1 6-3 setting up a second round match against St. Petersburg champion and Number 9 seed Roberta Vinci. Annika Beck defeated Bethanie Mattek Sands 6-2 6-2. This year’s Australian Open quarter finalist Zhang Shuai battled past Pauline Parmentier in a close first-set tie-break before the French player was forced to withdraw from the match due to a respiratory problem.

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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



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China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player. 


The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.

“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying. 

Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.

20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. 

Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.

“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”

It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing. 

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Daria Kasatkina Criticises Decision To Not Use Roof At Sweltering Pan Pacific Open



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Daria Kasatkina has taken a swipe at organizers at the Toray Pan Pacific Open for not using the roof to cover their premier court on Thursday due to the heat. 


The Russian played her second round match against Despina Papamichail in temperatures around 30 degrees with the humidity making it feel even warmer. Kasatkina battled to a 6-4, 6-4, win after spending more than two hours on the court. She dropped serve four times in the match but managed to break Papamichail seven times en route to victory. 

Speaking on the court following his latest tour win, the world No.13 admitted that she struggled in the conditions and implied that she believed the roof should have been closed to shield the players from the sun. Tokyo, which is where the tournament is staged, has experienced a record-breaking number of ‘extremely hot’ days this year with their autumn season being warmer than usual. Something that some warn could be a more regular occurrence due to climate change.

“We cannot do much about it. We are using the ice towels and some supplements to keep you hydrated. By at the end, you cannot fight with something you cannot control,” Kasatkina commented on the conditions during her on-court interview.
“I think in these kinds of conditions, if you have a roof, better maybe to close it. If you have these opportunities, better to use it than to make players almost die on the field.” She added. 

Kasatkina is through to her seventh Tour quarter-final of the season. Awaiting her in the next round will be second seed Jessica Pegula who beat Spain’s Cristina Bucșa 6-1, 6-2, in her second round match on Wednesday. It will be only the second Tour meeting between the two players and their first on a hard court. 

Elsewhere in Tokyo, another player to reach the last eight in France’s Caroline Garcia who beat Anhelina Kahlinina 6-4, 6-3. Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlychenkova defeated Czech Republic’s Linda Noskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. 

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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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