WTA New Haven: Daria Kasatkina ousts seventh seed Strycova in straight sets

Daria Kasatkina put in an impressive performance to defeat a faltering Barbora Strycova in the first round of the Connecticut Open, prevailing in two tight sets.

WTA New Haven: Daria Kasatkina ousts seventh seed Strycova in straight sets
Daria Kasatkina would be pleased with her performance today | Photo: Max Gao / VAVEL USA Tennis
Barbora Strycova
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Daria Kasatkina

Daria Kasatkina earned a very impressive victory in the first round of the Connecticut Open as she outclassed a much higher-ranked player in Barbora Strycova, triumphing in straight sets against the erratic Czech. The Russian prevailed after 1 hour and 51 minutes of play, recovering from an early deficit in the first set as she came from 0-3 down to eventually clinch the messy first set which featured seven breaks of serve. Carrying her momentum over to the second set, Kasatkina took the win straightforwardly with the final scoreline of 7-5 6-3.

Kasatkina recovers from huge deficit as Strycova starts misfiring

It was a bright start to the match for Strycova, who looked more solid in the early stages. The Czech put in some strong serves in the opening game, making the perfect start as she comfortably held her serve to 15.

Kasatkina was very erratic early on and started to make a string of errors, causing her to lose a 30-0 lead which allowed Strycova to make the first breakthrough in the set, taking the early 2-0 lead as the Russian made a failed drop shot attempt on break point. Strycova then faced some nerves on her serve in the next game and she was forced to save a break point along the way to consolidate the break narrowly, holding on for a formidable 3-0 lead.

Barbora Strycova in action at the Rogers Cup | Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images North America
Barbora Strycova in action at the Rogers Cup | Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images North America

Kasatkina finally got herself onto the scoreboard with a solid service hold before breaking straight back with some impressive aggressive play. The Russian then returned level at 3-3 as she saved three break points in the following game, barely holding on to her serve as she came out of nowhere to return in contention for the first set.

It soon became a galore of service breaks as five consecutive breaks of serve followed, with neither of them really being able to be consistent while serving. Serving for the set for the second consecutive time, Kasatkina was finally able to close it out 7-5 after 1 hour and 4 minutes of play.

Daria Kasatkina in action at the Western and Southern Open | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America
Daria Kasatkina in action at the Western and Southern Open | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America

Two breaks of serve goes Kasatkina’s ways and the Russian seals the win

Strycova’s struggles continued to plague her as her unforced errors in the first game of the second set proved to be costly, allowing Kasatkina to break serve in the opening game as the Russian remained solid in her baseline game. Kasatkina then easily held her serve to 15, consolidating the break for a 2-0 lead. Strycova had to endure through another tough service game but managed to hold her nerves and get herself on board in the second set.

Unlike the first set, it was a serve-dominated contest in the second set as there was seven straight service holds which followed the opening game. Being just one game away from victory when Strycova served to stay in the match at 3-5, Kasatkina stepped up her level of play as she was aggressive in her groundstrokes. The Czech was first able to fend off a match point with an impressive serve-and-volley winner, but she sent a backhand into the net later on as Kasatkina was second-time lucky, sealing the win in straight sets after 1 hour and 51 minutes of play.

Daria Kasatkina will next face Elise Mertens in the second round | Photo: Max Gao / VAVEL USA Tennis
Daria Kasatkina will next face Elise Mertens in the second round | Photo: Max Gao / VAVEL USA Tennis