French Open: Kasatkina breaks new ground with victory over Kudermetova

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Daria Kasatkina is through to her first grand slam semi-final after winning an all-Russian battle with Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets at the French Open.

Kasatkina lost her previous two major quarter-finals in 2018, but she broke new ground with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory at Roland Garros on Wednesday.

The 20th seed will face Iga Swiatek or Jessica Pegula for a place in the final after ending Kudermetova's best run at a grand slam.

Kudermetova paid the price for 50 unforced errors in her maiden major quarter-final on Court Philippe-Chatrier, where Kasatkina overcame the nerves to move into the last four.

It was Kudermetova who drew first blood when she broke to lead 3-1, but she failed to consolidate as a tenacious Kasatkina responded immediately.

The two 25-year-olds both fended off a couple of break points in their next service games, but Kasatkina edged in front for the first time courtesy of a sublime cross-court winner to take a 5-4 lead after a terrible miss from Kudermetova with the court wide open.

A steely Kasatkina was moving superbly and served out the set, before moving into a 3-1 lead in the second set after three consecutive games went against the serve.

The 29th seed was struggling to find her rhythm, but she was level at 4-4 when her compatriot overcooked a forehand.

Kasatkina had looked edgy in that service game, yet she had an opportunity to serve for the match when a Kudermetova backhand struck the net cord and landed on her side of the net.

A nervy Kasatkina was unable to serve it out but held to force a tie-break after Kudermetova called for treatment on her left foot.

Kasatkina took a 6-1 lead in the breaker following a string of errors from Kudermetova and finally finished it off with her fifth match point, executing a drop shot to perfection.

Data Slam: No setbacks for Kasatkina in Paris

Kasatkina has not only put together her longest run in a grand slam, she has done so without dropping a set. While it was certainly not all plain sailing in the quarter-final, she showed her strength of character to come through another test in straight sets.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Kasatkina – 16/25
Kudermetova – 38/50

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Kasatkina – 0/3
Kudermetova – 3/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Kasatkina – 5/17
Kudermetova – 4/7

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