American Shelby Rogers will face Russian Daria Kasatkina in the final of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose. Rogers may be more local, but both players have enjoyed tremendous support from the fans.
Rogers, the 29-year-old currently ranked No.45 with a career-high No.36 earlier this year has not dropped a set on her way to the final. To reach this stage, the American went through Bianca Andreescu, Maria Sakkari, Amanda Anisimova, and Veronika Kudermetova. The unseeded Rogers does not have any titles to her name and is looking to finally change that in front of an American crowd.
Rogers credits her training block after Wimbledon and the shift in attitude with her success at the WTA 500 tournament. She told media, “I sort of looked at this as a fresh start, evaluating myself with a very calm and gracious attitude as best I could. You know, ‘let’s just see where we’re at coming to the hard court.’ So not too many expectations. Just happy. I was healthy and feeling strong and then trying to problem solve on the court.” The confidence and nothing-to-lose approach have allowed her to play freely.
Daria Kasatkina, on the other hand, had much more to lose coming into the San Jose tournament, having to defend points from making the finals last year. En route to the 2022 final, the seventh seed had to go up against Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina, Taylor Townsend, Aryna Sabalenka, and Paula Badosa.
The 25-year-old Kasatkina is undeterred by the thought of an American having any sort of home court advantage. She explained, “when I’m playing, I’m so much in the zone that I don’t get the frustration from the side. What I see is just the lines and the person in front of me and the tennis ball. So to this point, it doesn’t matter who you play and where you play and I’m glad that I have this ability to turn off everything that is around me and focus on what I’m doing.”
This will be the third meeting between the two players. Kasatkina beat Rogers in the third round of Roland Garros earlier this summer. Rogers won their only hard court encounter in three sets five years ago in Miami.
The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic final will be played Sunday at 16:00 local time in front of a sold out crowd.