2021 Viking Classic

Kasatkina sets up repeat of Moscow final with Jabeur

Daria Kasatkina

Ruthless Russian outclasses Vandeweghe in battle of heavy hitters

Daria Kasatkina, the no.4 seed, eased past American Coco Vandeweghe with a stylish 6-2 6-4 semi-final win to take on Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur for a shot of winning the Viking Classic Birmingham crown.

The Russian ace, who waived at times because of tiredness after beating Czech Tereza Martincova 6-4 2-6 6-0, made a sluggish start to be broken immediately.

But she soon had Vandeweghe racing around the court, claiming three breaks of service and wrapping up the opening set to love to take the upper hand in style.

Vandeweghe, fresh from seeing off the challenge of Czech Maroie Bouzkova 6-4 6-4 in their rain delayed quarter-final, looked in deep trouble trailing 5-1 as Kasatkina relentlessly attacked the net and dismissed any loose balls.

Then the tables were turned as the Russian simply ran out of steam, having overexerted herself to gain the cushion, and struggled on court with uncharacteristic errors.

As the tension was cranked up on Centre Court wily Vandeweghe went for the kill and clawed her way back into the contest by reeling off three games on the bounce.

Kasatkina, serving for a place in the final for a second time, calmed her nerves and then clinched the all important points to set up a repeat of her three set success at the 2018 Moscow Open against Jabeur.

Kasatkina admitted: “It was a busy day in the green office. Anastasia started the match really fast, but I was able to handle the pressure and resist the aggressive game.

“It was a tough two days, waiting yesterday [because of rain] was tough. I was very happy at 5-4 to close out today’s match, now I am very happy to be in a grass court final for the first time.”

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