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French Open 2018: Wozniacki upset by Kasatkina in straight sets

Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
Feature
125   //    04 Jun 2018, 20:44 IST


TENNIS-FRA-OPEN-WOMEN
Darya Kasatkina waves to the crowd after her round of 16 upset over Caroline Wozniacki

A match that was extended into two days ended with an upset at the French Open Monday. Darya Kasatkina had a tough start to the match that saw her edge in the opening set before somehow staying ahead in the final stages to upset second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 7-6(5) 6-3 on Philippe Chatrier Court at Roland Garros.

A third meeting this season had a huge moment in play at the world-famous clay courts with both looking to best their personal achievements in the second calendar slam. The Russian advanced past the third round in a hard fight against Maria Sakkari to surpass her back to back third round finishes in the past. Wozniacki was on a tear through her three matches taking down each opponent with two shutouts and allowing one game in a set to each. With a second quarterfinal finish last season, the Dane hoped to get back there but would not find her path in the round of 16 easy.

The 21-year-old broke Wozniacki before seeing the same done to her game by the world number two with a triple break. Kasatkina kept the pace set and followed until after the fifth game when the Dane worked her serve back in to being offensively strong. She had a 4-3 lead before the 14th seed leveled things back at four all. It was a race to the finish as they held serve to the tenth that had them going further on in the set. Wozniacki was the first to get her chance to get out of danger with a double break in the 11th.

Kasatkina staved off going down in the match and evened the set at six apiece with a tiebreak to decide it all. The second seed pushed her way out to lead getting some free points on a double fault from the Russian. She rallied back taking a 3-1 hold before Wozniacki won the next three points the take the lead change. She opened up to two points breaking Kasatkina before she fought back to tie at five-all.

The 27-year-old impressed the crowd with a 27-shot rally with the Russian winning the point. She responded with a big point that made it 6-6 sending things to sudden death. The final point was decided by a bad return from the world number two that ended one hour and six minutes. Kasatkina came out where she wanted but her game was all over the place scoring 16 of 31 on the first serve and four of ten from the second. With the return side at half speed, the Russian knew that defending her being a set up on the second seed would be essential.

The light began to fade off the stadium as dusk was settling on Roland Garros but play began to open the second set where Kasatkina struck first. The Russian’s good groundstrokes gave her the lead followed by Wozniacki who kept the serve up. They asked to call the match until tomorrow but officials suggested they continue. They remained on serve through another four games until it was called to be suspended with the scored locked at 3-3.

2018 French Open - Day Eight
Wozniacki and Kasatkina await word on when play will be suspended for the day

When play resumed the next day, Kasatkina served to open the seventh edging the Dane to hold. The eighth saw an attack from the 21-year-old who hunted down the breakpoint on Wozniacki’s service. She played point by point to force deuce where after two breaks and a long shot rally, the 14th seed earned the 5-3 hold and the chance to serve for the match. It was just about over for the Dane who made errors in the final game giving Kasatkina the win after 1 hour and 57 minutes.

Despite having strong offensive tactics at the start of the match, Wozniacki’s unforced errors and low second serve brought her to an abrupt end losing out on the chance to continue at winning the calendar grand slam. With the clay court season closing for the world number two, Kasatkina will progress into the quarterfinals on to prepare for her match against U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

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Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
A writer with eight years experience in sportswriting. He specializes in the National Hockey League, WTA Tennis and both summer and winter Olympic sports.
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