World No. 12 Daria Kasatkina revealed she was giving her best not to look at the score when she was up against Elena Rybakina because she didn’t want to get relaxed and allow the Kazakh to stage a comeback. Kasatkina, the seventh-seeded player in the San Jose main draw, recovered from a slow start to beat Wimbledon champion Rybakina 1-6 6-2 6-0.
“I was trying not to follow the score. It’s very tough, it’s almost impossible, but I knew that the high-level hitters especially, as soon as you lose concentration and they find a few winners, they are back.
From 3-0 it can easily become 3-all and it’s another story,” Kasatkina said after overcoming Rybakina in three sets.
Kasatkina: “I was trying not to follow the score. It’s very tough, it’s almost impossible, but I knew that the high-level hitters especially, as soon as you lose concentration and they find a few winners, they are back.
From 3-0 it can easily become 3-all and it’s another story.” — WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) August 2, 2022
Kasatkina dominated Rybakina after losing the first set
Kasatkina had the first break point of the match in the first game of the match but failed to realize.
After saving a break point, Rybakina earned back-to-back breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win the first set. After losing the last five games of the first set, Kasatkina served out the opening game of the second set.
Then, Kasatkina claimed her first breaks as she broke Rybakina fourth and sixth games to open a 5-1 lead. Down by two breaks, Rybakina refused to quit and she managed to get one break back in the seventh game. But Rybakina kept her focus and broke Kasatkina again in the eighth game, when the Russian was serving to stay in the second set.
After breaking Rybakina three times in the second set, Kasatkina did the same in the third set to complete a big comeback victory. In the San Jose last-16, Kasatkina plays home favorite Taylor Townsend. Kasatkina and Townsend will be going head-to-head for the second time when they meet in San Jose.
In the 2015 US Open qualifying event, Kasatkina clinched a straight-set win over Townsend. Going into the match, Kasatkina is the favorite to beat Townsend again. Kasatkina ended runner-up in San Jose last year and now she is aiming to go a step further and win the title.