Kasatkina beats Rogers, wins San Jose and returns to the top 10

Daria Kasatkina clinched her first title of the season at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, defeating No. 45 Shelby Rogers 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-2 in Sunday’s final. When the WTA rankings are updated on Monday the 25-year-old returns to the top 10 for the first time since 2019.

Kasatkina, who was a finalist last year, became the first player to reach back-to-back finals in San Jose since Serena Williams won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. San Jose is Kasatkina’s fifth career title on the Hologic WTA Tour and first since winning in St. Petersburg in 2021. Her win over Rogers in the Finals marks her 200th peloton win on the WTA Tour.

Kasatkina feels free and happy after coming out

In the final, Rogers’ powerful baseline play and dominating serve prevailed against Kasatkina’s physicality and cunning in a 1-1 head-to-head draw. Kasatkina opened the match early to build a 5-3 lead but failed to open the set. Rogers upped her game by improving her baseline discipline and salvaging a set point before tearing away with the tie-break after a grueling 78-minute set.

But the effort expended to win the first set would prove too difficult for Rogers to overcome. Rogers was nowhere near dropping a set in San Jose and was rolling through her matches all week thanks to her flawless serve. In contrast, Kasatkina had put on plenty of miles all week, coming back from a loss to defeat Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina 1-6 6-2 6-0 and No.6 Aryna Sabalenka 4-6 defeat. 7-5, 6-0.

Kasatkina’s focus and physicality would ultimately make the difference. As with Rybakina and Sabalenka, Kasatkina turned the match cool in the second set by taking advantage of Rogers’ energy loss. From 1-1 in the second set, Kasatkina won the next seven games to win the second set 6-1 and build a 2-0 lead in the third. She finally finished the match after 2 hours and 32 minutes.

Game Stats: To win the opening set, Rogers hit 15 winners with 19 unforced errors while Kasatkina hit eight winners and 19 unforced errors. Kasatkina kept things much cleaner in the second two sets, hitting just 13 unforced errors while Rogers held to just 12 winners for the rest of the game. Kasatkina finished the match with 24 winners to 32 unforced errors. Rogers hit 27 winners to 39 unforced errors.

In the midst of one of her best seasons, Kasatkina’s victory sparked a double losing streak in the finals. After back-to-back semifinals on clay in Rome and Roland Garros, Kasatkina’s stellar week in San Jose included back-to-back top-10 victories over No.4 Paula Badosa and Sabalenka, as well as a win over the reigning Wimbledon champion. With 32 wins this season, she now sits third on the tour behind No. 1 Iga Swiatek and Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur.

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