The 2017 Volvo Car Open final will feature two 19-year-olds: first-time WTA finalist Daria Kasatkina, ranked 42nd in the world, and 66th-ranked Jelena Ostapenko, who will fight for her first title in her third WTA final.
In the first semifinal on Saturday, Russia’s Kasatkina defeated Laura Siegmund 3-6 6-2 6-1 and even though the score suggests a match lasting about an hour and a half, the duration of the encounter was two hours and eighteen minutes, as there were a lot of long points and games.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) April 8, 2017
After losing the first set, Kasatkina received crucial coaching from Vladimir Platenik early in the second set, who told her to move better and be more aggressive, to play crosscourt and give more spin to the ball. Even though Kasatkina angrily got back to the court, her coach’s pieces of advice changed everything and Siegemund won just two more games in the match.
In the second semifinal, teenager Ostapenko outlasted veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who won her first WTA title a month before Ostapenko was born! Even though Lucic-Baroni’s first-serve percentage was 74 in the opening set and she launched the match with a break, Ostapenko prevailed 6-3, playing overall more solid tennis which didn’t reflect that much in the stats, as their winners-to-unforced-errors differential was pretty much the same. Ostapenko then built a 5-3 lead in the second set, but the 35-year-old Lucic-Baroni refused to leave and won four games in a row to force a decider. The youngster from Latvia went 4-1 up in the third set and even though her Croatian opponent reduced the deficit, the 19-year-old progressed into her first WTA final on clay with a 6-3 5-7 6-4 victory.
Ostapenko, who is one month younger than her next opponent Kasatkina, leads their head-to-head record 2-0.(photos: Jimmie48)