Wimbledon 2018: Daria Kasatkina battles past Alison Van Uytvanck to reach quarterfinals


14th seed Daria Kasatkina has advanced to her second straight Major quarterfinal after rallying past Alison Van Uytvanck 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-2. The Russian and Belgian went the distance for the second straight week after Kasatkina also prevailed in three sets in Eastbourne. 

A hot start from the Belgian, ranked 47th, saw her claim eight of the first 11 points to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Russian would immediately hit back, a forehand winner on break point putting the set back on serve.

Both players were seemingly breaking at will, Van Uytvanck again grabbing the initiative in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead, but again Kasatkina would respond. With the server settling down, the 14th seed finally gained the upper hand with a break in the 11th game.

Serving for the set, an unlikely scenario just a few games ago, Kasatkina wasted a 30-0 lead and a sixth break ensured a tiebreak. Van Uytvanck won a couple of points by serving and volleying and at 7-6, she was gifted the set when the Russian double-faulted.

It was almost a disastrous start to the second set for Kasatkina as she fought off numerous break points to hold in the opening game with a forehand winner. She was in trouble again in the third game, this time Van Uytvanck grabbing the break to take a commanding lead.

When she is aggressive, Kasatkina is a very dangerous player and she demonstrated that in the next four games, breaking twice, the first with a another forehand winner, to take a 5-2 lead. Once more, she faced three break points trying to serve out the set. Saving them all, she ripped a backhand dowm the line on set point to force a deciding third set.

Van Uytvanck was shaken and a double-fault in the opening game of the final set paved the way for Kasatkina to break. The Belgian’s backhand wing broke down and combined with the Russian’s easy string of service holds. Her struggles continued as she was broken in the fifth game.

The wWrld #47 saved a host of match points in the seventh game before forcing Kasatkina to serve it out, which she did to set up a Wimbledon quarterfinal showdown with 11th seed Angelique Kerber.

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