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Kasatkina started with a victory in Washington. He will now play the Ukrainian Svitolina.

Date: June 22, 2024 Time: 16:52:36

Kasatkina started with a victory in Washington. He will now play the Ukrainian Svitolina.

Kirill Veyovich August 1, 2023, 07:53 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.

Three more representatives from Russia went further into the American capital.

In the last month of summer, the prestigious united “5000” began in Washington (USA), in which several domestic players take part. The last day of July turned out to be a busy one for the Russian tennis players, because Lyudmila Samsonova, Anastasia Potapova, Alexander Shevchenko, Aslan Karatsev and Daria Kasatkina played their matches on the 31st. between the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka.

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The tournament has been held in Washington since 1969. The record holder for the number of titles is Andre Agassi – five. Guillermo Vilas, Jimmy Connors, Andy Roddick and Juan Martín del Potro stood out three times. The Russians did not win these competitions, but Evgeny Kafelnikov (1999) and Daniil Medvedev (2019) made it to the final. Daniil was originally going to play in the current draw, but eventually withdrew from the competition and decided to extend his vacation after Wimbledon. Nick Kyrgios, who won in both 2019 and 2022, won’t play this year either. In his absence, the grid for the men’s half was led by Americans Taylor Fritz and Francis Tiafoe.

As a result, two Russians ended up on the men’s grid: Aslan Karatsev and Alexander Shevchenko. Karatsev was challenged by New Zealand’s 717th ranked Kiranpal Pannu, who had previously played just one ATP main draw match, at Auckland 2023. Aslan got off to a botch start and allowed his opponent to take the lead 3: 0, but soon leveled the situation – 3:3 and achieved the tiebreaker – 7:6 (7:3). In the second set, the Russian already dictated the terms and after 1 hour and 38 minutes he scored the victory-7: 6, 6: 1. Now on Tuesday, in the next match, Karatsev will fight second seed Francis Tiafoe.

An opponent of a completely different level went to Alexander Shevchenko, who is now ranked 93rd. This is his “neighbor” – the American world number 96 racket Maxim Cressy. The 26-year-old tennis player is a supporter of today’s rare style of “serve-out to the net”. But even with such an “old-fashioned” game, Cressy won the title in Newport last year, and in August of that year he was close to the top 30. Previously, tennis players did not play each other. In the middle of the first set, Alexander managed to find the opponent’s game and made a break – 4:2. This advantage was enough for him to take the first set – 6:3. In the second game, Shevchenko twice led with a break: 2:0, then 4:2. With the score 5:4, the Russian did not apply for the match – 5:5. Well, in the tiebreaker, Alexander still won. Now in the second round he will fight the American Sebastian Korda, seeded 8th in the tournament.

The women’s tournament in Washington has been held since 2011. The first champion was Russian Nadezhda Petrova. Svetlana Kuznetsova (2014, 2018), Ekaterina Makarova (2017) and Lyudmila Samsonova (2022) also excelled here. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2012, 2015) was also a finalist. This season, the tournament raised its status from WTA-250 to WTA-500, inheriting it from San Diego. This year’s draw was led by Jessica Pegula and Caroline Garcia. Last year’s Washington champion is our compatriot Lyudmila Samsonova.

It was the native of Olenegorsk who opened the program for the day on center court. Ludmila began her title defense with a meeting with local tennis player Danielle Collins. The 24-year-old Russian woman is five years younger than her opponent and has never played with her before. Samsonova failed at Wimbledon, she lost in the first round and now, after a three-week hiatus, she was clearly determined to rehabilitate. The opening game of the first head-to-head confrontation went completely without a fight.

The Russian woman allowed her opponent to take just one game, but her game seemed extremely shaky. The foul was the American’s serve, for which she committed a large number of double faults in the opening segment of the match. The second set turned out to be a little more stubborn, because from the middle of it the American was able to add a bit and at times even played evenly, but overall Samsonova defended better and attacked better, and made many good active deep moves. 6:1, 6:3 – in favor of the Russian woman in 1 hour and 13 minutes.

Our other athlete, Anastasia Potapova, had a much tougher opponent: Tokyo Olympic champion Belinda Bencic. Previously, the tennis players met three times and traded victories. In Toronto 2019, Belinda turned out to be stronger and in Dubai 2021, Anastasia took her revenge. The girls began the reporting match with the fact that they confidently took the games on the field until the score was 3:3. It was the 22-year-old native of Saratov who could not take it first, allowing the eminent Swiss to break. However, her nerves turned out to be not iron, Belinda tore the backhand center on the third break point and returned the game to the Russian woman – 4: 4.

Unlucky for Anastasia, as it turned out, was the ninth game of the first installment. In one of the draws, while trying to get the ball, the athlete injured her left ankle. Potapova immediately took a medical timeout for the doctor to examine her leg. After consulting with a doctor, both decided that the Russian should continue the match. Right, from that moment on, her leg was heavily bandaged. However, her tenure on the court for racket number 26 in the world, as it turned out, turned out to be short-lived. Anastasia withdrew from the fight with a score of 6:5 in favor of the Tokyo Olympic champion. An offensive injury out of the blue did not allow the Saratov native to continue fighting on an equal footing with Bencic.

The first racket of Russia, Daria Kasatkina, also played her match on the night of Monday to Tuesday, Moscow time. The 26-year-old Togliatti native began her Washington tournament career with a battle with an old friend, Belgian Elise Mertens. The girls have already played five times and the score is currently 3-2 in favor of the Russians. It is true that the only meeting in 2023, in Miami, remained only for the Belgian. Tennis fans had a reasonable question: how will the sixth series of this matchup end?

Already in the second game, the Belgian showed perseverance and crushed her opponent from the fourth break point: 2:0. Daria immediately rallied – 2:2, and then made two more breaks – 6:3. In the second installment, the Russian woman already took the lead – 2:0, then she was the first to come out of a series of breaks – 4:1. In the seventh game, Mertens was already able to take someone else’s serve – 4: 3, but immediately missed her own to zero – 5: 3. During the presentation of the match, Kasatkina had a triple match point, then another, but the he lost everyone and allowed Elisa to return to the match – 5: 4. And yet, with the score 6:5, Daria again achieved a break and with him the victory in the match – 6:3, 7:5.

And the rival of Kasatkina was determined in the battle of the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka. Two tennis mothers recently met at Wimbledon, and then Svitolina turned out to be stronger, although she had previously lost all her previous meetings. The match was close again. Elina took the lead with two breaks: 3:0, but then Azarenka took five games in a row: 3:5, but could not deliver a set: 4:5. The girls again exchanged breaks – 6:6, and the Ukrainian was stronger in the tiebreaker – 7:6 (7:2) in 1 hour. The second batch became a parade of breaks. For 10 games, Elina managed to take only one of her serves, eventually winning: 7: 6, 6: 4. Now, in the second round, Kasatkina will fight Svitolina, with whom she has a disastrous score of matches: 0- 7.

The tournament in Washington takes place on the courts of the William HG FitzGerald Tennis Center from July 31 to August 6.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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