All in for Kerber v Kasatkina!
I don’t have time to write a full preview but I just had to the acknowledge the existence of this match in our lives.
It didn’t look likely for a time as Kerber lost the first set of her third round match to Elina Svitolina, 6-1. Svitolina twice failed to serve out the match in the second set at *5-4 and *6-5, playing two terrible games. Into a second set tiebreak and Svitolina crumbled somewhat, overpushing and not thinking clearly.
Kerber was all over Svitolina at the start of the third set, breaking on a magnificent rally where Kerber’s ability to do something different with the drop shot came up trumps. Kerber had an awkward fall (on the dodgy elbow!) which threatened to dampen her momentum. Svitolina twice battled from a break down in the decider but Kerber served out the match, saving three breaks points in the process. Kerber won, 1-6 7-6(2) 6-4. For Svitolina… oof, this was a tough loss. She had so many opportunities.
I’m impressed by Kerber’s commitment to play this tournament but a part of me wishes she had just rested up!
Kasatkina avenged an earlier loss to Roberta Vinci, coming through 7-5 6-3 for the second top 10 win of her career.
As mentioned in my Kasatkina-Vinci preview, the emergence of Kasatkina has been one of my highlights of 2016. It’s nice to see her go up against all these top players for the first time. I just have this feeling that Kerber-Kasatkina could be a really fun match-up.
I’m a little bit concerned about Kerber’s injury and having had to play back-to-back three setters with no rest days.
For Kasatkina, it’s a superb opportunity to reach what would be just a second semi-final of the year. The concern, if she were to get into a winning position, is always the nerves. She’s coming along a treat but I wonder if it may still be a tad too early. The win over Vinci showed progression though…
I can’t wait for this match which is at a plum time for me at 7.30pm in the evening. It’s been a crazy few weeks and i’m looking forward to sitting back, relaxing and watching this match unfold.
Fingers crossed for a good one!
Going for Kasatkina…