Daria Kasatkina is the winner of the 2022 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, California. The seventh seed beat American Shelby Rogers 6-7(2) 6-1 6-2 in a battle that took over two and a half hours.
Kasatkina moved well, and perhaps more importantly, did well to move Rogers around the court in the hot afternoon sun. Kasatkina’s constant changes of speed and direction got the better of the American, who could not match the Russian’s locked-in focus in the second and third sets.
After the match, Kasatkina dropped to the court, and then ran over to her player box, where she embraced her coach, brother, and girlfriend, figure skater Natalia Zabiiako, whom she just publicly announced last month she was in a relationship with.
In her post-match press conference, Kasatkina was excited with the victory, but not content to stop there. The 25-year-old explained “I’m still hungry for the wins and I want more. The more you get the more you want. And I’m really already looking forward to the next tournament. We put in a lot of work and we’ve done a very good job with my team, and, I mean, it’s very nice to see and feel how this work pays off.”
Kasatkina’s physical fitness made a big difference in the second and third sets, and she did not come by that easily. She explained, “I’ve been working a lot on physical conditioning,” smiling she said “crying on the court suffering.” In the end though she is “very glad to see that it was actually worth it. It seems like I will run even more.”
Disappointed after the defeat, Rogers told the media that Kasatkina is “one of the best movers on the tour and then the wind starts to pick up. She started quick. She started putting a little more pace on the ball and being a little more aggressive too.” She added, “I just overplayed a little bit trying to counter what she was doing and in the end she was just more solid today and just outplayed me.”
This was only the first week of WTA play on US hard courts with many players who have left San Jose already on the ground in Toronto to continue their preparations for the US Open. Kasatkina said she will enjoy a nice team dinner, but cannot celebrate too much because she has to catch a flight to Toronto on Monday morning, where she will play Bianca Andreescu Tuesday.