Washington : Daria Kasatkina continued her strong season on Sunday by defeating American Shelby Rogers 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-2 in the final of the Silicon Valley Classic.
Russia’s Kasatkina made her deepest grand slam run earlier this year by reaching the semifinal of the French Open, where she lost to world number one Iga Swiatek, and with this singles title – the fifth of her WTA career – she has claimed a career-best ranking of ninth in the world.
Against Rogers, the story was how the effectiveness of Kasatkina’s serve continued to improve the further the match went on.In the hard-fought opening set, Kasatkina won just 53 per cent (26-of-49) of her service points, allowing two breaks of serve and then flailing in the tie-break to drop five consecutive points.
Something changed from that point on, with Kasatkina improving to take 69 per cent (18-of-26) of her service points in the second frame, and that jumped again to 76 per cent (16-of-21) in the decider as she either figured something out, or Rogers ran out of steam.
Kasatkina did not allow a single break point opportunity after the first set, while converting four of her six chances to take a double-break in both the second and third.
Rogers had not lost a single set in her four matches to make it to the final, putting the exclamation point on a terrific run from Kasatkina that included wins over world number 27 Elena Rybakina, world number six Aryna Sabalenka and world number three Paula Badosa, reprorts DPA.
Earlier in the day, Liudmila Samsonova secured her second career singles title on the WTA Tour by defeating Kaia Kanepi in the final of the Citi Open.Unseeded Russian Samsonova beat Estonian Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to take the title in Washington on Sunday.
It was Kanepi, the tournament’s sixth seed, who struck first in a tight opening set with strong serving from both players, capitalising on the only break point opportunity in the 10th game.
While Samsonova won at least 70 per cent of her service points in each of the three sets, Kanepi’s effectiveness dipped after the opener, with a 77 per cent (20-of-26) success rate in the first set, which dropped to 63 per cent (15-of-24) in the second and the third (12-of-19) to provide the Russian with an avenue back into the contest.
Kanepi led 3-2 in the second set, before Samsonova rattled off the next five games, securing a double break in the process and forcing a decider.In a tight third frame, with Samsonova leading 4-3, she created three break point opportunities and only needed the first to grab a winning buffer, serving out the match for the title.
It is the 23-year-old’s first singles title since her maiden victory at the German Open 14 months ago, and she only dropped two sets in the process while defeating fifth seed Elise Mertens, second seed Emma Raducanu, China’s Wang Xiyu and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.