Daria Kasatkina enjoyed practicing with Matteo Berrettini as the Russian tennis star was thrilled about the fact that she was able to handle well a practice session with an ATP player. Last week, Kasatkina posted a selfie with Berrettini from the practice court.
This week, Kasatkina kicked off her clay season. After kicking off her clay season with a 6-2 6-1 win over Madison Brengle, Kasatkina expressed gratitude to Berrettini for preparing her well for her first clay tournament.
“Big forehand guy. Thanks to my coach Flavio (Cipolia) who organized this practice. It was great. Thanks to Matteo. You know not many guys practice with the girls. It feels great that I could handle (the session). Maybe not the rallies if he was playing full power with the serve but some exercises we were doing were great.
It was fun, I was trying to hit everything to his backhand, it was great practice. We asked him to serve a few first serves, not to the body, to the side, so he was not killing me. Matteo, after you finish maybe you can be a great coach or a sparring partner,” Kasatkina told Tennis Channel.
Kasatkina wins her first match after practice with Berrettini
After the first four games of the match, no breaks were seen as Kasatkina and Brengle were tied to two games apiece. In the sixth game, Kasatkina earned the first break of the match for a 4-2 lead.
In the eighth game – when Brengle was serving to stay in the first set – Kasatkina collected her second break to seal the opener. After winning the last four games of the first set, Kasatkina also started the second set with back-to-back breaks and a 5-0 lead.
In the sixth game, Brengle was finally able to serve out one game and end Kasatkina’s run of nine consecutive games won. Serving out for the match in her first attempt in the seventh game, Kasatkina realized her third match point to complete a two-set win.