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Johanna Konta vs Daria Kasatkina WTA Moscow Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Konta stands between home favourite, Kasatkina and consecutive Kremlin Cup finals

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 19 Oct 2018
  • Johanna Konta vs Daria Kasatkina is live from Moscow on Friday 19 October from 4:30pm local time/ 2:30pm BST
  • Konta and Kasatkina have split their two previous encounters
Johanna Konta. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

British No. 1, Johanna Konta contests just her second semi-final of the season when she takes on Russian, Daria Kasatkina in the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Friday.

Konta has finished each of the previous two seasons inside the top 10, but that will not be happening this year, following a disappointing campaign. The Brit had started year ranked 9th in the world, but she was already on a downward spiral, having ended 2017 with five defeats in a row, and pulled the plug on her year early due to a lingering foot problem. It was a disappointing finish to a season that had been going so well, as the 27-year-old claimed titles in Sydney and Miami, and had reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon, rising to No. 4 in the world as a result.

However, that form has since deserted her, with the Brit arriving Moscow ranked 44th in the world. Konta is looking to match her previous best result in 2018- a runner-up finish in Nottingham. She made the quarter finals in her first tournament of the year in Brisbane, but did not return to a WTA quarter final until that Nottingham run. She had made just one other quarter final since then, in San Jose, before her current run in Moscow. The former world number four had been on a three-match losing streak before the Kremlin Cup, but she has recorded three straight wins in Russia, beating Elise Mertens, Daria Gavrilova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich to move on to the last four.

The Brit dominated the opening set against Sasnovich, winning the last four games to take it 6-2, but Sasnovich set the tone for a fightback in the opening game of the second set, forcing nine break points before capturing her opponent’s serve. The Belarusian went on to break again to take the set 6-2. There were no breaks of serve in the final set, but Konta raised her game in the tie break, winning seven of the last eight points to complete a 6-2 2-6 7-6 victory after two hours and 38 minutes. 

Standing between Konta and a second final of the season is Russian young gun, Daria Kasatkina, who moved on to a third Kremlin Cup semi-final with a 6-4 6-3 victory over compatriot, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. 


World number 14, Kasatkina twice fought back from a break down in the opening set, and while she faltered when serving for the set at 5-3, she secured another break in the next game to close out the opener. 

Daria Kasatkina. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pavlyuchenkova once again made the better start to the second set, opening up a 3-1 lead, but Kasatkina reeled off five games in a row to take the win in an hour and 24 minutes. Overall, the younger Russian was ultimately too solid for Pavlyuchenkova, who committed 28 unforced errors as against 26 winners. Kasatkina, in contrast, was more controlled, striking 16 winners and just 12 unforced errors. 

Although she is yet to claim a title this year, Kasatkina has compiled a terrific season, highlighted by a run to the Indian Wells final, where she defeated Grand Slam champions, Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams before falling to Naomi Osaka. She also reached the final in Dubai, semi-finals in St. Petersburg, and marquee quarter finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

The 21-year-old had not made a quarter final since her that Wimbledon effort, a run spanning six tournaments, but she has corrected that this week, beating Lesia Tsurenko, Alize Corner and Pavlyuchenkova to reach the last four. Kasatkina was a Kremlin Cup finalist last season, can she take down Konta on Friday to match her 2018 run?

Konta and Kasatkina have split their two previous meetings. The Brit took their first encounter in two tight sets in Sydney in 2017, but Kasatkina responded with a dramatic win in Dubai earlier this year, saving two match points in a 4-6 7-6 6-2 victory.

A more in-form Konta might be too powerful for Kasatkina on the indoor hard courts of Moscow, but I'll make Kasatkina the slight favourite for this one. She has got plenty of options in her arsenal, which can sometimes be a disadvantage, but as long as she maintains a decent level of aggression, I think she will be too good for Konta on Friday.

Johanna Konta vs Daria Kasatkina is live from Moscow on Friday 19 October from 4:30pm local time/ 2:30pm BST

*Geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify 


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Johanna Konta vs Daria Kasatkina WTA Moscow Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Konta stands between home favourite, Kasatkina and consecutive Kremlin Cup finals

Johanna Konta and Daria Kasatkina meet in the semi-finals of the Kremlin Cup on Friday. Who will move on to the Moscow final? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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