Daria Kasatkina thinks Novak Djokovic is the prime example of how playing just well enough and conserving your energy and best tennis for the latter stages is a recipe for Grand Slam success. Last year, 25-year-old Kasatkina reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at the French Open.
En route to reaching the French Open semifinal, Kasatkina didn’t drop a single set. Then, Kasatkina suffered a 6-2 6-1 loss against Iga Swiatek. Reflecting on those five wins before the Swiatek match, Kasatkina admitted that she “wasn’t feeling incredible or playing amazing but just decent.”
Kasatkina taking a lesson from Djokovic’s book
“I cannot say I was feeling incredible at Roland-Garros or I was playing amazing.
No, it was decent matches I won and actually maybe it’s the best part, because to be honest I feel like, if we take Djokovic for example, this is how he won most of his tournaments, not just Slams, maybe he had very tough sometimes first round or finals, but if you take the tournament in general, it’s just decent matches.
He’s winning – my coach calls them ‘partido comercial’, commercial match, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, it’s like a little bit of fight but he won and everyone knew he was going to win. So I think it’s important to save energy and until the semi-final was kind of like this,” Kasatkina told rolandgarros.com.
After the French Open, Kasatkina was denied participation at last year’s Wimbledon after the tournament imposed player bans on Russian and Belarusian players. In late August, Kasatkina made her Grand Slam return but didn’t go well since she suffered a surprise defeat to Harriet Dart in the US Open first round.
At the start of this season, Kasatkina had a very disappointing Australian Open as she was stunned by Varvara Gracheva in the Australian Open first round. It remains to be seen if Kasatkina can bounce back at the French Open and make another strong run in Paris.