August 26, 2019,

Excitement among women’s professional tennis fans runs extremely high when there is a new face and rising star that bursts into the top ten.

During the course of one year fortunes can rise and fall so quickly.

As an example, American star KoKo Vandeweghe was all the rage in 2017 and deservedly so.

In 2017, she reached two Grand Slam semifinals and the final of the WTA Elite Trophy to move up to a career-high ranking of No. 9. In addition to her two Grand Slam semifinals in 2017 at the Australian Open and the US Open, Ms. Vandeweghe has twice reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, in 2015 and 2017.

As of October 2018 what is her current ranking?

Number 102 in the world.

From 9 to 102, that is quite a plummet. Hopefully she will make a comeback.

As the 2019 Australian Open turned a new page, it was Daria Kasatkina’s turn to brighten the women’s tennis circuit with her stellar play and then shiny bright number 10 world ranking.

Her highest ranking to date.

Have you heard of her? If you haven’t and you are a true women’s tennis fan, then you should get to know her.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, photo-via-kremlincup.ru

Daria Kasatkina is a Russian professional tennis player. She made her top 10 debut in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings towards the end of the 2018 season. She has won two WTA titles in singles as well as one in doubles.

Born to athletic parents who were nationally ranked in athletics and ice hockey, Kasatkina began playing tennis at age six at the insistence of her older brother.

Daria is a baseline player with a clever and very strategic style of play. She employs a variety of shots including heavy topspin forehands, one-handed slice backhands, kick serves, and drop shots.

She excelled as a junior, winning the European 16s championship and one junior Grand Slam singles title at the 2014 French Open.

Our young Russian star quickly ascended up the professional rankings, reaching No. 32 in the world while still 18 years old and winning her first WTA title as a teenager at the Charleston Open.

Daria rose to prominence in 2018 by finishing runner-up to fellow up-and-coming player Naomi Osaka at the Premier Mandatory Indian Wells Open in a match regarded as representing a new wave of women’s tennis. She also won the biggest title of her career at the Kremlin Cup at home in Russia towards the end of the season.

You can understand why she is attracting global praise and attention.

Recently the New York Times projected a headline that read, “Daria Kasatkina Is Building Up to a Tennis Masterpiece.”

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, photo-via- The National

Given her incredible accomplishments at the junior level we suppose we should have seen it coming.

As a junior, Daria was ranked as high as No. 3 in the world. She began competing on the ITF Junior Circuit shortly after turning 14 years old and won her first title at just her second career event.

Daria began excelling at the highest level junior tournaments in 2013.

She reached her first Grade 1 final in doubles in January of 2013, which she followed up with her first Grade 1 final in singles in April.

Ms. Kasatkina had her best year on the junior tour in 2014, despite competing in just five tournaments. She reached both the singles and doubles finals at the Grade 1 Trofeo Mauro Sabatini, and won the title in singles.

She began 2015 ranked No. 354, but steadily climbed to No. 161 at the end of June.

It was in 2016 that she began to powerfully make her move.

Daria continued to rise in the WTA rankings, reaching No. 32 in the world while still 18 years old and as high as No. 24 later in the year.

In the middle of the season Daria again reached the third round at two more Grand Slam events, the French Open and Wimbledon.

This in part is why there is such a major buzz around this young Russian beauty after the 2019 Aussie Open.

Known as the Russian Wall, let’s peek behind the wall and visit Daria’s roots.

Daria was born 7 May 1997 in Tolyatti, Samara Oblast.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, photo-via- OrangeSmile.com_

Tolyatti is an industrial city located about 620 miles southeast of Moscow. Her father works as an engineer at the Volga Automobile Plant, while her mother was a lawyer.

Tolyatti also known in English as Togliatti, is a city in Samara Oblast, Russia.

She boasts a population of 719,632 as of the 2010 census. It is the largest city in Russia which does not serve as the administrative center of a federal subject.

A Federal Subject of Russia simply means that a certain entity is a subject to the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Internationally, the city is best known as the home of Russia’s largest car manufacturer AvtoVAZ (Lada), which was founded in the late 1960s. It was previously known as Stavropol-on-Volga (until 1964).

The car plant employs some 110,000 people in cooperation with Italy’s Fiat since 1970, with General Motors since 2001 and with the Renault-Nissan Alliance since 2012.

AvtoVAZ produces over 400,000 cars a year and the AvtoVAZ factory is not only the largest car manufacturer in Russia but also all of Eastern Europe as well.

Other industries have moved into Tolyatti because it is close to abundant supplies of electricity and water. Petrochemicals are well represented in the city. Among the significant enterprises based there are “TogliattiAzot“, Russia’s biggest ammonia manufacturer.

So many professional athletes come from small towns in contrast to Daria who emanates from a powerful industrial region that dreams big.

So does Daria. As of this August 26, 2019 writing she has earned over $5,546,280 in prize money to prove it.

The expectations were extremely high for 2019 but thus far has not materialized.

Her ranking a slid down to 42 and she has just been knocked out in the first round of the 2019 US Open by the dynamic British star Johanna Konta, 1-6, 6-4, 2-6.

No stranger to one another, this was their fourth career meeting.

It is so hard to stay at the top. Daria was so upset after the loss, the camera caught her slamming down her racquet.

Can Daria right the ship and turn it around? We certainly hope so.

2020 promises to be the crystal ball that reveals and we are so anxious to rub our hands together and keep watching.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, photo-via- beIN Sports

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CoCo_Vandeweghe

https://www.quora.com/What-is-meant-by-federal-subject-of-Russia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daria_Kasatkina

https://lastwordontennis.com/2019/01/12/daria-kasatkina-is-determined-to-succeed-at-australian-open/

https://www.wtatennis.com/players/player/322082/title/daria-kasatkina-0

https://www.wtatennis.com/news/champions-corner-how-daria-kasatkina-went-completely-freaking-out-moscow-fairytale

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolyatti

https://www.britannica.com/place/Tolyatti

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AvtoVAZ