Finishing the 2018 season in the top-10, Daria Kasatkina couldn't match that pace in the next two years, never finding the rhythm and standing outside the top-65 in 2019 and 2020. Scoring a couple of wins at the beginning of 2021, Daria lost to Aryna Sabalenka in the Australian Open second round and entered this week's Phillip Island Trophy.
The Russian wasn't among the seeded players, but that didn't stop her from scoring six victories and going all the way to lift her first WTA title since Moscow 2018! In the final, Kasatkina took down the 13th seed Marie Bouzkova 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and eight minutes, finding her A-game following the first set and bringing the victory home with eight breaks from 15 opportunities.
They traded four breaks in the opening five games before Bouzkova grabbed another break at love with a forehand winner at 5-4 to seal the set. Kasatkina claimed five straight games in set number two and extended the streak to open a 3-0 lead in the decider, holding at love in game eight with a slice winner to celebrate the first title in many months.
Daria Kasatkina defeated Marie Bozukova to win the Phillip Island Trophy.
"Feels incredible, to be honest. I felt like one big backpack with stones got out from my shoulders. I was struggling with a lot of things; with my game.
Mentally I was having problems like I was not confident in myself. I was losing matches, and everything was just going like a snowball altogether. Things were just going down. It took a lot of time to rebuild my game and confidence and change myself.
Finally, I'm feeling good. The main thing I learned was that your confidence shouldn't depend on your results. It doesn't matter if you win or lose; it doesn't have to break your inner child. To lose one match doesn't have to kill yourself from the inside.
Tennis is a very competitive sport - it's challenging because basically, you're alone, it's not a team sport. I think kids can also start work with a psychologist from a young age. It will help them for sure not to face the big problems when they're 18 or 20," Daria Kasatkina said.