San Jose | Kasatkina and Rogers in the WTA 500 final

Russia’s Daria Kasatkina will meet American Shelby Rogers in the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic final in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, following back-to-back losses to Paula Badosa and Veronika Kudermetova in Saturday’s semifinal.

Surprising! This is the position you want to occupy every week. This is what we train for. As much as you sacrifice and work, it’s just nice to see it all fall into place. It’s probably one of the most fun weeks I’ve had on tour. That says a lot about why I play well. Shelby Rogers

Kasatkina, world number 12 and seeded 7 here, toppled Badosa, 4th, seeded 2, 6-2 6-4, while Rogers, ranked 45th in the world, beat Kudermetova, 19th, 6-3 6-4 , to reach his 3rd career final and his first since finishing second in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

It was Kasatkina’s 2nd win in 3 career encounters with Spaniard Badosa, and she went through the first set without facing a break point, playing loose and fearless tennis, when Badosa called the coach , who checked his blood pressure.

The Spaniard got off to the best start in the second, with an early break to move up 2-0, but Kasatkina, who beat Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and No. 4 seed Aryna Sabalenka, proved too much strong that day, breaking Badosa twice to snatch a 4-3 lead and, after another exchange of breaks, she served for the match, converting on her first match point.

The Roland Garros semi-finalist has made it to just her second tournament since missing out on Wimbledon due to the All England Club’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players, and her first since becoming gay in a powerful documentary produced by vlogger Vitya Kravchenko.

Badosa enjoyed her own resurgence in San Jose, narrowly defeating American Elizabeth Mandlik and rallying after a breakdown in the first set to oust Roland Garros runner-up Coco Gauff in straight sets.

Kasatkina, 25, has quietly put together one of the best seasons of his career, having made back-to-back semi-finals in Rome and Roland Garros, and now one victory away from returning to the Top 10 for the first time since 2019 .

As she has done all week, Kasatkina played disciplined and contained play to tempt Badosa out of the game.

Kasatkina hit 11 winners for 11 unforced errors, while Badosa hit 16 winners for 30 unforced errors.

The Russian came through the first set after 30 minutes but was forced to pull herself together after breaking down twice in the second set to seal her 4th victory against a Top 5 opponent this season.

A thrilled Shelby Rogers beat Veronika Kudermetova to reach the San Jose final without dropping a set all week

© Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Rogers continued her impressive week in Northern California which included an opening win over former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, a victory over world No. 3 Maria Sakkari, the number one seed, and her compatriot in the lead Amanda Anisimova, while she hasn’t lost more than 4 matches in any set she has played.

In fact, the 29-year-old is yet to drop a set this week, and she started strong against Kudermetova with a break in the very first game of the match.

The Russian dropped her serve again to give up the first set, but opened the second by breaking the American before Rogers leveled the proceedings, only to be broken again and trailed 3-4.

She however won the next 3 matches to seal victory after an hour and 20 minutes, advancing to her first final in 6 years.

“Incredible,” Rogers said. “That’s the position you want to be in every week.

“That’s what we train for. As much as you sacrifice and work, it’s just nice to see it all fall into place.

“It’s probably one of the most fun weeks I’ve had on tour. It says a lot about why I’m playing well.

The day’s hot conditions fueled Rogers’ serve and in her 4 games she was only broken 3 times.

Rogers will finally be looking to break through to claim his first career title on Sunday against Kasatkina, who was a runner-up in San Jose last year.

“To play the Finals twice in a row here in San Jose means it’s a special place for me,” Kasatkina said. “I love him, he’s a great person.

“I am really happy to share this day and this special moment with her on the pitch. These will be good memories. But of course on the pitch we will fight against each other, but in the end it will be special. »

Between the two finalists, the head-to-head is tied at 1-1, with Kasatkina winning their last meeting in May at Roland Garros, and Rogers taking their only meeting on hard court, which came in 2017 in Miami.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: