It’s an all unseeded and all teenager match up in the final of the Volvo Car Open. Jelena Ostapenko and Daria Kasatkina face off for their first WTA title.
Jelena Ostapenko (No.66) vs Daria Kasatkina (No.42)
Overview: Jelena Ostapenko has been beaming from ear to ear in Charleston. Having made the semifinals in Auckland in her first tournament of the year, her next few months were pretty quiet. She turned her fortunes around in Charleston however, including a big casualty scalp over Caroline Wozniacki. In the semifinals, she had served for the match over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, but as usual, the Croatian fought and fought and sent the match into a decider. Ostapenko calmed her nerves down and eventually won it 6-4 to confirm a spot into her third WTA final.
Daria Kasatkina is another player that has turned her fortunes around this week. Playing on her beloved dirt, she beat quality players such as Danka Kovinic, Monica Puig, friend Daria Gavrilova, and clay-courters Irina-Camelia Begu and Laura Siegemund to send herself into a first WTA final. Her match against Siegemund was a topsy-turvy one, having lost the first set 6-3. After a talk with her coach, she started playing more aggressively and ran away with the last two sets. There was a bit of controversy in the match – Siegemund called for a medical time out down 0-4 in the decider; not sure if she was really injured! Kasatkina then fell 0-40 in that game but saved three break points to prevent Siegemund from getting on board. The German eventually did, but it was too late as Kasatkina served the match out.
Head to head: Ostapenko won the two previous encounters – one was in the ITFs while the other was played on grass.
Thoughts: Ostapenko’s the more aggressive one obviously – so Kasatkina really needs to be at a high level in her aggressive and defensive departments to be able to break down Ostapenko’s game. However, with a big game, errors often occur as is the case for the Latvian. If she makes less unforced errors and gets her first serve in regularly, I think she’ll be able to beat Kasatkina even though she’s playing on the Russian’s favourite surface.
Prediction: Ostapenko to defeat Kasatkina in three