Rothesay International 2023: Ninth seed Daria Kasatkina sets up final clash with Madison Keys
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Saturday’s final is just around the corner, and it’s set to serve up a day of entertainment as ninth seed Daria Kasatkina takes on Madison Keys in a bid to be crowned the 2023 Rothesay International champion.
What is the Rothesay International Eastbourne schedule?
- Daria Kasatkina vs Madison Keys (USA)
- Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) vs Tommy Paul (USA)
How to watch the Rothesay International Eastbourne final
You can watch full coverage of the final on the BBC digital channels and Prime Video.
Rothesay International Eastbourne singles final preview
The women’s final will see a first-time Rothesay International Eastbourne finalist take on a previous champion as Daria Kasatkina prepares to go to battle with Madison Keys.
Saturday’s final will mark the 11th meeting between the two players – in which the American takes a substantial 8-2 lead in their head-to-head - but will be their first on a grass court.
Despite having six WTA tour-level titles to her name, ninth seed Kasatkina is yet to win one on the grass and will be eager to lift her first at Devonshire Park. Her semi-final win over Italy’s Camila Giorgi now means the 26-year-old is projected to return to the Top 10 on Monday ahead of her upcoming Wimbledon campaign.
Speaking on facing her American opponent in the final, Kasatkina said, “This week has been full of aggressive players on the other side so I’m kind of used to it.
“Madison – she is an amazing player, she’s got all the strokes, she’s very aggressive. If everything’s going her way, it’s very tough to be on the other side of the net. But I’ve got my game – it’s going to be the final, so everyone wants to win. The final is always special, it doesn’t matter what happened the week before and how you played before.
“It’s going to be a great match and good preparation before Wimbledon. It’s the final match for me in Eastbourne this year and I’m going to enjoy it.”
Meanwhile Keys is no stranger to a final in Eastbourne, after she beat Angelique Kerber back in 2014 to lift the Rothesay International trophy – marking the first WTA title of her career.
Just two years later, she then added a second grass title to her resume after winning the Rothesay Classic Birmingham, but has not reached a semi-final or a final on the surface until now.
The world No.25 has looked comfortably at home this week, having ousted Tereza Martincova, Wang Xiyu, Petra Martic and Coco Gauff to reach the last two without dropping a set.
“It’s absolute amazing” Keys said in her on court interview, when asked how it feels to reach the final in Eastbourne once again.
“I’ve not had a great year so far so to be able to make the final here where I won my first title is amazing.”
While it’s the American who takes the edge 8-2 in their head-to-head, Kasatkina has won two of their previous three encounters with tomorrow marking their first match on the grass.
After a rain delay caused Friday’s semi-final matches to be pushed to Saturday, our 2023 Rothesay International Eastbourne men’s finalists have finally been decided as Cerundolo and Paul will go head-to-head in a bid to clinch a maiden grass trophy.
Entering Eastbourne off the back of a second-round appearance at the cinch Championships, it’s safe to say Cerundolo has found his stride on the South Coast, with today’s final marking his first on a grass court.
Having bypassed Marc-Andrea Huesler and Zhang Zhizhen earlier in the week, the fourth seed was forced to come back from a set and double break down against Mackenzie Mcdonald to wrap up the victory and book his spot in the final two.
“I’m super happy” Cerundolo said in his on-court interview, “Of course yesterday was a really tough match. I wasn’t playing very good but he (Mcdonald) was playing incredible – I don’t know how I managed to turn it back.
“It’s tough to end the day being up 5-2 in the third, wanting to finish the match and going to sleep knowing you’re really close. Today was probably the best, only four points, it was the shortest I could do. I’m very happy to be in another ATP final and my first on grass”.
Meanwhile Paul took out Sebastian Baez and fellow American J.J. Wolf to reach the final four at Devonshire Park. The world No.17 then eased past France's Gregoire Barrere 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday morning's match-up on Court 1 to secure an epic final showdown against the Argentine.
Speaking on making it through to the final, Paul said, “We were obviously following the other semi-final match and we didn’t know we were going to be playing on this court so everything kinda got switched around.
"You’ve just got to be patient. I actually played on this court twice last year so I was pretty comfortable on it. Happy to get through that match and play later today.”
Today's final will mark the pair's third encounter, with the head-to-head currently being tied at 1-1 with it all to play for.