By Jake Davies

  • Daria Kasatkina vs Jelena Ostapenko
CHARLESTON, USA – Two of the tour’s youngest players but rising stars will battle for the Volvo Car Open title, and a maiden WTA Tour title for one of them.

Daria Kasatkina vs Jelena Ostapenko H2H: First meeting

It has been a memorable week at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston. We have seen major upsets, controversial talking points and now the emergence of two of the rising stars of women’s tennis meeting on the final Sunday of the tournament.

Two of the younger players of the World’s Top 100 will go toe-to-toe for the coveted prize of winning their first major title on the WTA tour. For Daria Kasatkina, it is a first ever WTA final in comparison to her opponent, who has had two previous WTA finals in Quebec City and Doha last season. Jelena Ostapenko has the greater experience of knowing how a WTA final feels and the additional pressure that comes with it, but Kasatkina will feel she has the greater skill-set that is compatible with a clay court and has the greater track record on this surface.

Ostapenko has found most of her success away from the green and red clay. She admits that clay is her least favourite surface, having won the Wimbledon juniors in 2014 and made real noise at WTA level on the hard courts, but the great thing about the Latvian is that she really does play with a ruthless streak, which has put her in good stead at this stage in her development.

Both players faced stern challenges in the semi-finals. Kasatkina needed three sets to beat a tricky German opponent Laura Siegemund, while Ostapenko served for the match twice in two separate sets before extinguishing the challenge of Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Ostapenko will be receiving a very different shape of ball in today’s final. Lucic-Baroni is an extremely aggressive player, so it will be fascinating to see how Ostapenko adjusts to the type of shots that Kasatkina will come up with on the day in a final setting.

I think due to the fact that it is being played on a clay court I would give Kasatkina the slight advantage, because she understands the point construction required on a clay court better than Ostapenko. The real question will be whether Ostapenko can consistently keep firing winners from start to finish on the green clay of Charleston. The final match should be enthralling to spectate.

 

Prediction: Kasatkina in two sets.

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