By Chris Oddo | Sunday April 9, 2017
Daria Kasatkina earned her first career title with a straight-sets victory over Jelena Ostapenko in Charleston.
Photo Source: Christopher Levy
Daria Kasatkina rolled to her first career title on Sunday in Charleston, defeating Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, 6-3, 6-1, to claim the Volvo Car Open trophy.
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In a battle of promising 19-year-olds it was the Russian who proved to be the more versatile and better equipped on the green clay. Kasatkina employed a patient gameplan with the purpose of keeping her aggressive opponent off-balance. It worked to perfection and the Russian gradually took over the match, running away with the final as Ostapenko struggled to stay with her.
Kasatkina reeled off the final five games of the second set, converting both her break points, to complete her victory in one hour and six minutes.
She won three three-setters in six matches at Charleston, which included Saturday’s fightback from a set down against Laura Siegemund. In that match Kasatkina had to change her tactics after a nervous start saw her drop the opener. She would lose just three games in the final two sets.
Kasatkina is pressing to be a more offensive player on tour, but her game is adaptable and her comfort zone is a patient and grinding game, which explains her success on clay this week and in the past – she won Roland Garros juniors in 2014 and owns a lifetime record of 15-7 on the surface.
Kasatkina will climb back into the Top 30 to No.28 with the win. She is the youngest player to win a Premier-Level title since Belinda Bencic won the Rogers Cup in the summer of 2015.