Daria Kasatkina Rallies Past Venus Williams to Reach BNP Paribas Open Final
(March 16, 2018) Daria Kasatkina rallied to defeat a fourth major winner in a row on Friday night when she defeated No. 8 seed and seven-time major winner Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA Tour, her most important final to date.
In succession, Kasatkina defeated US Open champion Sloane Stephens, Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki, two-time major winner Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals and Friday night 37-year-old seven-time major champion Venus Williams in the semifinals.
The match took 2 hours, 48 minutes. There were 14 breaks of serve in the hard-hitting match.
Williams rallied from 3-1 down in each of the two sets to draw even to 3-3. In the second set, the Russian won the last four straight games to close out the set.
No. 19 Kasatkina was just two points from losing the match, trailing 4-5 and 0-30 in the third set.
“I mean, if there will be some thoughts or something, I would lose for sure,” Kasatkina said in regard to what she was thinking just two points away from defeat. “And you’re missing the points like this in such important moment, you’re, like, better not to think even about, like, anything. Because if you start to think, then you go serving, and I didn’t put first serve, by the way. It was tough moment, but somehow I manage it.”
Williams made four straight unforced errors and it was tied at 5-5. Kasatkina broke Williams’s serve when Williams double-faulted twice in a row, and held to close out the victory.
“I’m ready, one match to go,” she told the crowd in her on-court interview.
“She just played a little better at the end. It was really pretty much that simple,” said Williams.
“I really just make too many errors, Williams added.” “That’s pretty much all — I mean, I have to stop making that many errors against her.”
Asked if she felt good about her run in the tournament, Williams said: “I pretty much come to win tournaments, so if I don’t win, I’m not happy. I’m not here for results and all that stuff.”
“You don’t get used to losses, ever.”
“Anyone who gets used to losses should give up on life.”
“Match like this, you’re just speechless,” said Kasatkina. “Even I meet my coach and my brother after the match, I was not able to say anything. I was just, like, Aaaaah, okay, that was pretty nice.
“Too many emotions and you cannot, like, explain everything.”
Kasatkina will play another 20-year-old, Naomi Osaka who dismantled No. 1 player Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0.
“We are same age, first of all,” Kasatkina said. “Actually, we didn’t play juniors. I didn’t see her in juniors.
“But she’s playing really well. She’s hitting hard. She has a good serve. She improving so much, so she’s really dangerous player.”
At 20-years-old, the Russian is now the youngest to reach an Indian Wells final since 2008. Should she win the tournament, Kasatkina would make her debut in the Top Ten.
— WTA (@WTA) March 4, 2018