Last year at Qatar Open, the world saw 22-YO Daria Kasatkina fighting bravely against Garbine Muguruza. Although she lost the match, it showed that she will soon make a mainstream comeback.
Fast forward to this year, the 23-YO has won the third career title of her career by defeating Czech player Marie Bouzkova in the finals of the Phillip Island Trophy.
It took her 3+ years to win back a title and that became possible because of an amalgamation of physical and mental aspects of the game.
What did Daria Kasatkina change to achieve this success?
The World no. 75 enjoyed a wonderful week in Australia after losing her women’s doubles match in the first round of the Australian Open 2021.
She defeated four seeded players to win the title and make her WTA Finals record 3-3. She endured three-setters thrice and bounced back bravely in each of those tough matches.
In an interview, she discussed how her sports psychologist eventually helped her in overcoming the pressure of such events. She expressed, “I learned a lot. But the main thing was that I learned your confidence shouldn’t depend on your results.
“It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it doesn’t have to break your inside child. This is the main thing I learned. I think this is very important because this is true.”
This definitely helped her overcome Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Danielle Collins, who both tested her mental strength in their respective matches.
How good is the Russian sensation?
Venus Williams had famously said that Tennis is mostly mental, you win or lose the match before you even go out there. Daria already had tenacious foot movement and decent anticipation of the rally.
The only thing the youngster probably lacked was a very optimistic mindset. However, her psychologist helped her out in that regard and it eventually became the defining factor in her latest title win.
Daria Kasatkina further added, “We are losing many matches during the year. Apparently in the best case there is few weeks where you’re not losing a match. To lose one match doesn’t have to kill yourself from inside, so… I think that was the main thing.”
Evidently, she lost the Ostrava Open and Abu Dhabi Open, both in the Round of 16 before finally making it big. This proves how she did not let her failures define her and bog her down during the big moments.