Viking Classic: Daria Kasatkina, Ons Jabeur outlast rivals to reach Birmingham final

The cancellation of play on Friday, 18th June at the Viking Classic meant that all four quarter-finals and the two semi-finals would be played on Saturday with players having to pull double duty to reach Sunday’s final.

In the end, fourth seed Daria Kasatkina and second Ons Jabeur came through both rounds and will play each for the title.

The Russian first played Tereza Martincova in the quarter-final, beating the Czech 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 in an hour and 44 minutes. In the semi-final, she took on Coco Vandeweghe. The American upset eighth seed Marie Bouzkova in their quarter-final clash 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 37 minutes.

Kasatkina’s semi against Vandeweghe was relatively less tricky as she made it through in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 16 minutes.

After her win over Vandeweghe, Kasatkina shared, “The goal was just to handle as much as I can and resist this aggressive game. I’m happy that I was able to close the match. It was a busy day in a great office!”

Viking Classic: Daria Kasatkina and Ons Jabeur revive rivalry

Speaking of a day in office, Jabeur – highest seed left in the draw – had an easier outing in her quarter-final and semi-final matches. The Tunisian first defeated Anastasia Potapova in the quarter-final, 6-4, 6-0 in just 56 minutes. Then, she defeated Heather Watson – the sole Briton left in the draw – 6-3, 6-3 in 72 minutes. Previously, in her last-eight match, Watson routed third seed Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 19 minutes.

Post-match, Jabeur said that she didn’t want to tire herself considering the task she’d ahead of her. “I tried not to waste my time on court, to keep my energy for a long day,” she said.

The final of the Viking Classic between Daria Kasatkina and Ons Jabeur will be the third time the two will play each other. Kasatkina has won both of their previous matches, the most recent of which came in the final of the 2018 Moscow Open.

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