2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro R3 Preview 🇧🇷
🇮🇹 Sara Errani vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina
Sara Errani and Daria Kasatkina both have a great opportunity to make the most of a relatively open section of the draw and reach the quarter-final stage in Rio. Errani is competing in her third Olympic games and is searching for a maiden Olympic medal whilst Daria Kasatkina is participating in her first Olympic campaign.
Little was expected of Sara Errani heading into Rio, the Italian has generally struggled in 2016 but has shown some decent form in her opening couple of matches in Rio. The Italian has recorded back-to-back upset victories to advance to the third round, starting with a 4-6 6-4 6-3 win over Kiki Bertens before thumping Barbora Strycova 6-2 6-2. The slow surface in Rio may just be working in the Italian’s favour, it means she is able to get into the long rallies that she thrives on.
Daria Kasatkina has made the most of an extremely favourable draw to reach the third round stage in Rio. Kasatkina almost slipped up in the first round but managed to sneak past Ons Jabeur with a 3-6 7-6 6-1 victory. The Russian was more clinical in her second round match where she claimed a comfortable 6-4 6-1 win over Saisai Zheng.
Sara Errani won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-3 3-6 6-2 win on the clay of Bad Gastein last year. Kasatkina has certainly had a great season and is a plyer on the rise but she has consistently lost big matches, generally very close matches. I suspect that trend will continue here, this should be a long, close match where the superior experience and mental strength of Sara Errani will see the Italian prevail.