Moscow

Katatkina Moves To Top 10 With Moscow Victory

Russia’s Daria Kasatkina won her second career title in Moscow beating Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the final in three close sets 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.

“I remember 10 years ago, when I was young, I came here dreaming that one day I would lift the title. Now, I’ve done it. My dream has come true,” Kasatkina said.

Down 2-6, 1-4, Kasatkina used her tactics and mental strength to completely change the match on the way to realizing her dreams. Kasatkina owes her strength in character to her coach, the Belgian Philippe Dehaes, who is known to say the right words to boost and motivate the young champion. Kasatkina and Dehaes are a very strong team who follows the spirit of her sponsor, Tecnifibre, #fightsmart spirit.

At 21 years of age, the native of Togliatti, Russia moved into the Top 10 in her career. Her previous title was in 2917 in Charleston, S.C.

Madison Brengle thrown into the Fed Cup Fire

Faced with injuries and illness to several veteran players, captain Zina Garrison named a team that will rely on youth for the United States’ Federation Cup semifinal in Moscow, Russia. With Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport and Ashley Harkleroad all out of the tie, 18-year-old Madison Brengle may be asked to carry a heavy workload in her Fed Cup debut.

Brengle may see action as a singles player and that means facing top ten players. Russian, even without Maria Sharapova, has a formidable singles lineup with world number three Svetlana Kuznetsova and world number six Anna Chakvetadze on the team. Brengle will be a heavy underdog against either Kuznetsova or Chakvetadze.

The Dover, Delaware native is coming off a solid junior career in which she reached two junior grand slam finals in 2007, losing in the Australian Open in two tiebreaks to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and to Ursala Radwanska in 3 sets at Wimbledon. She captured the 43rd Astrid Bowl Charleroi, Belgian International Junior Champion-ships in 2007. Brengle has one career singles title on the ITF tour. She has not faced anyone the caliber of Kuznetsova or Chakvetadze this year.

Brengle will have to raise her game to a new level to pull off an upset if she is called upon. She will need to use her speed and good court movement to get a lot of balls back. She has a lot of fire and is a battler and that will serve her well. Chakvetadze lost to Dominika Cibulkova at the Bausch & Lomb Championships. Brengle‘s game is similar to Cibulkova’s, not quite as developed, but similar. She will have to give it her all and see what happens.

The one advantage that Brengle and the rest of her teammates will have is no expectations. Few expect an American team of Brengle, Vania King, Ahsha Rolle and Liezel Huber to be able to beat the Russians on their soil. Brengle and her teammates may have been thrown into the cauldron, but all the pressure is on Russia.