Kremlin Cup: Kasatkina falls, Medvedev withdraws

Published by Tennismash / AP

Daria Kasatkina (Getty Images)
Defending champion Daria Kasatkina crashes out of the Kremlin Cup, while in-form Daniil Medvedev withdraws citing fatigue.

Daria Kasatkina’s forgettable 2019 season continued when the defending WTA Kremlin Cup champion crashed out in the first round of the 2019 edition.

Kasatkina was dismissed 6-1 6-4 by Ukrainian young gun Dayana Yastremska, seeded No.5 at the Moscow tournament.

Yastremaska goes on to play Kirsten Flipkens in the second round while Kristina Mladenovic, Kaia Kanepi, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and eighth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova also progressed to the last 16.

Following her defeat, Kasatkina is expected to plummet to around 70th in next week’s rankings, after beginning the season inside the top 10.

Aside from her recent — and slightly unexpected — run to the China Open quarterfinals in Beijing, Kasatkina has not gone beyond the second round of any event since Rome in May.

Granted, many of her losses have come to credentialled, in-form players such as Yastremska — and Caroline Wozniacki, Caroline Garcia, Madison Keys (twice), Johanna Konta and Bianca Andreescu in her six preceding events.

Yet the 22-year-old Russian’s win-loss record in 2019 has slumped to 12-21.

Meanwhile, Kasatkina’s compatriot Daniil Medvedev withdrew from the ATP Kremlin Cup because of fatigue, two days after winning the Shanghai Masters.

The fourth-ranked Russian was coming into the Moscow tournament as the No.1 seed after beating Alexander Zverev in the Shanghai final on Sunday.

He’s reached the final of his last six consecutive tournaments, including the US Open, which has meant a busy playing schedule.

Russian news agency Tass quoted Medvedev as saying that he felt “drained psychologically and physically” after his Shanghai victory.

In Tuesday’s matches, eighth-seeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic won his first-round meeting with Russian Artyom Dubrivny 6-1 7-5.

Sixth seed Andrey Rublev was the highest-ranked player to progress, with Ivo Karlovic, Jeremy Chardy, Mikhail Kukushkin, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Roberto Carballes Baena joining him in the second round.

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