World No 8 Daria Kasatkina admitted she felt "quite empty" during a shock Australian Open second-round loss against 97th-ranked Varvara Gracheva. Kasatkina, who was seeded at No 8, entered the match as the big favorite to beat Gracheva.
But instead, Kasatkina ended up demolished as Gracheva claimed a 6-1 6-1 win. After the match, Kasatkina honestly admitted what went wrong during the Gracheva match. "I was quite empty. I just lost my mental battle with myself," Kasatkina told Howard Fendrich.
Spoke with No. 8 seed Daria Kasatkina after a 6-1, 6-1 loss to Varvara Gracheva in 54 minutes at the Australian Open.
Kasatkina said waiting around through 2 days of rain before playing was difficult: "I was quite empty.
... I just lost my mental battle with myself." — Howard Fendrich (@HowardFendrich) January 18, 2023
Kasatkina shockingly won just two games against Gracheva
The match started in a very unexpected way, with Gracheva earning back-to-back breaks to open a 4-0 lead.
In the fifth game, Kasatkina finally got on the board after getting one break back to cut the deficit to 4-1. But just after getting one break back, Kasatkina again lost her serve as Gracheva earned her third break in the sixth game before serving out for the first set in the following game.
After easily losing the first set, Kasatkina managed to serve out the first game of the second set. In the second game, Kasatkina forced a deuce but Gracheva managed to serve out the game. Unfortunately for Kasatkina, her service struggles continued as Gracheva earned the first break of the second set in the third game.
Down by a set and a break, Kasatkina had three consecutive break points in the fourth game. But Kasatkina missed out on all of them as Gracheva took a 3-1 lead. In the fifth game, Kasatkina missed out on a game point as Gracheva claimed another break to go up by a double break.
Gracheva then served out the sixth game to take a 5-1 lead, before breaking Kasatkina for the final time in the seventh game to complete a two-set win. For Kasatkina, it wasn't the best but also not the worst Australian swing.
After suffering a first-round loss at Adelaide 1, Kasatkina ended as runner-up at Adelaide 2. Kasatkina was certainly hoping for a deep Australian Open and this was definitely a very disappointing result for her.