“Best Medicine is to Win”: Daria Kasatkina on Winning the WTA St. Petersburg Event

Published 03/22/2021, 12:45 AM EDT
Tennis – WTA 500 – St Petersburg Ladies Trophy – St Petersburg, Russia – March 21, 2021 Russia’s Daria Kasatkina celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


Russian tennis star Daria Kasatkina scripted glory on home soil on Sunday after she won the St. Petersburg Open by virtue of a walkover.

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The 23-year-old Kasatkina lifted her second Tour title of the year after her opponent, compatriot Margarita Gasparyan, withdrew in the second set with an injury.

Daria Kasatkina became the first woman this season to pick up two titles

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Currently ranked 61st in singles, the Russian was leading by a set and was up 2-1 in the second when Gasparyan pulled out.

The happy culmination at home marked the continuation of a hot streak that saw Kasatkina clinch her first Tour championship title this season at the Phillip Island Trophy, beating Czech star Marie Bouzkova in the final. With the St. Petersburg title, she also became the first woman to pick up two titles this WTA season.

The purple patch has seen the 23-year-old Russian rack up an impressive 15-4 win/loss record this year.

She faced, arguably, her toughest test in the tournament from veteran Russian star Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semifinals but came through with flying colors. After dropping the opening set 1-6, Kasatkina came roaring back to take the next two 6-0, 6-2 and seal her passage to the final.

While it was unfortunate that her victory in the final came via a walkover, she was going great guns when her opponent withdrew and would probably have won the contest hands down even if it had gone the distance.

Daria Kasatkina will move to Top-50 in the new rankings after winning St. Petersburg title

After snapping rising Danish star Clara Tauson’s unbeaten run in the opening round, Kasatkina beat Belarussian Aliaksandra Sasnovich in a fiercely fought three-setter to set up a quarter-final showdown with country mate Veronika Kudermetova. Kasatkina fought past Kudermetova in three sets to book a last-four date with Kuznetsova.

Following her win in Moscow in 2018, the 23-year-old became the first Russian to lift two WTA 500 titles on home soil.

Tennis – WTA 500 – St Petersburg Ladies Trophy – St Petersburg, Russia – March 21, 2021 Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in action during the final against Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Sharing her thoughts on the match, the Russian said, “My coach was telling me the best medicine is to win matches, and that’s 100% true.”

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The St. Petersburg title will take her inside the Top-50 in the new rankings. She reached the second round of this year’s Australian Open before going down to Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

840 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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