PARIS (Reuters) - Russian youngster Daria Kasatkina’s stirring run to the French Open quarter-finals left her temporarily homeless in Paris on Monday.
The 21-year-old was due to vacate her rented accommodation on the same day she returned to Philippe Chatrier Court to finish off Danish world number two Caroline Wozniacki.
Leading 7-6(5) 3-3 overnight after darkness interrupted their fourth-round clash on Sunday, the 14th seed reeled off three straight games before going off to find a hotel.
Asked later if she would be watching the rest of the day’s action on TV she revealed her dilemma.
“I’m not sure if I will watch this match, because my house which I rent expired today, and I have to change to hotel,” the 14th seed told reporters. “This is the problem.
“I booked it through Airbnb. So you have to pay in advance. And you never know what is going to happen and if you are in the middle of the second week it’s fine to go to the hotel. I’m not complaining.”
Kasatkina’s longer-than-expected stay is more than welcome.
With so many of the top women’s players bashing the ball baseline to baseline with relentless power, lightweight Kasatkina prefers to mix things up a little.
She in not averse to some crafty sliced and high loopy top-spin. She is not afraid to venture forward and what she lacks in big weapons she more than makes up for with a tennis brain that belies her relative inexperience.
Having knocked out one reigning Grand Slam champion, Kasatkina now takes aim at U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens and the American will definitely have to be on guard, having lost to her at Indian Wells this year when the Russian went on to reach the final.
“I’m trying to play more of a strategy game, because I’m not the biggest girl to hit balls so hard,” Kasatkina said.
“I have to find different ways to win. This is interesting.”
Kasatkina, the junior French champion in 2014, is the youngest of the eight quarter-finalists, but according to former French Open great Chris Evert is dangerous.
“She has had a pretty good run and has the claycourt game,” the American told Reuters. “She has the slice, the dice and the drop shot and top-spin. She is definitely dangerous.”
Wozniacki agreed after failing to figure her out.
“The slower the surface is, the better for her,” she said. “She has very good hands and good angles and everything.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond