Russian Daria Kasatkina cruised past fellow 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-3 6-1 in the final of the Volvo Car Open to win her first career title.
The world No.42 Kasatkina calmly used the opportunity Ostapenko’s mounting unforced errors gave her from the middle of the first set onwards and the Latvian’s slump gained momentum in the second set. The 66th-ranked Ostapenko couldn’t adjust to Kasatkina’s game plan and we saw little of her capabilities in this final. For comparison, against fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals, the eventual runner-up hit 40 winners to 26 unforced errors, while in the Sunday’s final her 38 unforced errors far outweighed her 25 winners. Kasatkina made 6 winners and 7 unforced errors in the title match.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) April 9, 2017
During the champion’s speech, Kasatkina could barely complete a sentence, while eventually she couldn’t hold her emotions any longer and burst in tears. A lot of credit has to be given to Kasatkina’s coach Vladimir Platenik, whose strategy and encouragement pushed the Russian through moments of crisis this week in Charleston.
En route to the Premier-level trophy which brings $132,380 in prize money, junior Roland Garros champion Kasatkina defeated Montenegrin Danka Kovinic in the first round, then Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig in the second round, ninth seed Daria Gavrilova in the third round, tenth seed Irina-Camelia Begu in the quarterfinals, Laura Siegemund in the semis and finally her peer Ostapenko. (photo: Jimmie48)