Shelby Rogers continued her dominant week at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, defeating Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-4 to reach her first final in six years. Rogers meets Daria Kasatkina in Sunday’s final. Kasatkina was a finalist in San Jose last year and secured her spot on Championship Sunday with a 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 4 Paula Badosa.
Rogers on the verge of a milestone: The 29-year-old will be looking to finally break through to win her first title of her career. The powerful American was unstoppable this week, beating Bianca Andreescu, top seed Maria Sakkari, Amanda Anisimova and Kudermetova without dropping a set. Rogers hasn’t lost more than four games in any set she’s played.
The warm conditions throughout the day translated directly into Roger’s serve. Through her four games, she has only been broken three times.
“Amazing,” 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 coming together. This is probably one of the funnest weeks I’ve spent on tour. That says a lot about why I play well.”
“I try not to get too high or too low. I just take it point by point and focus on the things I can control. My serve has been working really well this week and I just feel like I want to hit every ball, it’s a nice feeling.”
Kasatkina’s outstanding season continues: Kasatkina played her first tournament since Berlin, beating Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina as well as two top-10 players in No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka and No. 4 Paula Badosa to reach her first final of the season. The 25-year-old has quietly put together one of the best seasons of her career after reaching back-to-back semi-finals in Rome and Roland Garros and is now a win away from returning to the top 10 for the first time since 2019.
“Playing the finals twice in a row here in San Jose means it’s a special place for me,” said Kasatkina. “
As she has been doing all week, Kasatkina played a disciplined and restrained game to get Badosa to pull out of the match. Kasatkina had 11 winners with 11 unforced errors, while Badosa had 16 winners with 30 unforced errors. Kasatkina rolled through the opening set after 30 minutes but had to bounce back from a collapse twice in the second set to seal her fourth win against a top-five opponent this season.
Sunday’s final will be a contrast of styles: The neck-and-neck race is 1-1, with Kasatkina winning their last clash at Roland Garros in May. Rogers won their only meeting on a hard court, which came in Miami in 2017.
“I love her, she’s a great person,” Kasatkina said. “I am very happy to share this day and special moment with her on the pitch. There will be good memories. But of course we will fight each other on the pitch, but at the end of the day it will be something special. “
Kasatkina’s challenge will be to blunt Roger’s flat baseline strength. That’s exactly what Kasatkina has had good practice this week, in which she’s clinched victories against the likes of Sabalenka and Rybakina. Rogers has yet to play against someone as smart and disciplined as Kasatkina, a player who will be stingy when handing out free points.