Two young women announced themselves on the world’s tennis stage, ironically with heartbreaking losses.With only one WTA singles victory each to boast of, the two — Italy’s Camila Giorgi and Russia’s Daria Kasatkina — demonstrated that top-quality tennis matches needn’t always be clashes between highly-ranked seeds.It was 21-year-old Kasatkina who took the court first, losing in straight sets to 11th-seeded German Angelique Kerber with a scoreline (3-6, 5-7) that concealed more than it revealed about this exceptional match.If Kerber triumphed, it was largely because of a consistency that comes from experience. On the skill scale, the match, as a fawning Centre Court crowd fully recognised, was tilted very much in Kasatkina’s favour. The very first game of the match, which saw Kerber holding her serve with some difficulty after being a break-point down, showcased the staggering variety in Kasatkina’s game.
She mixed up her groundstrokes, her pace, and played smart points, keeping herself in rallies with long floating groundstrokes when pushed to a corner.
But as a result of double-faults and some rank errors, the Russian found herself 0-3 down before winning her first game with a fine serve. She would go on to break Kerber to be level on serve at 3-4, but the errors kept coming in the form of double-faults and fluffs from the mid-court, usually by overcooking returns that should have been easily put away.