Already a star on the rise in the minds of WTA fans around the world, it was a breakthrough of a different sort for Daria Kasatkina in February, and you rewarded her with your votes to win the Breakthrough of the Month award. 

The 20-year-old Russian cracked the Top 20 in the WTA rankings for the first time thanks in part to a pair of big runs at WTA Premier events, reaching the semifinals in St. Petersburg, and finishing runner-up in Dubai. 

On home soil, she earned her third career victory over a WTA World No.1 with a win against Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, and had a marathon week in Dubai en route to the Premier-level final. 

In Dubai, Kasatkina ground her way through a pair of three-hour upsets, saving match points against both No.7 seed Johanna Konta and No.2 seed Garbiñe Muguruza to reach the third Premier final of her career before falling to top seed and defending champion Elina Svitolina.

She added victories against compatriots Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina over the course of the week as well.

"I think I just love to play in front of my crowd because I don't spend that much time in Russia," Kasatkina told WTA Insider after beating Wozniacki in St. Petersburg.

"I'm happy to come here, to speak to Russian people, to spend time with my friends. For me, I like this energy. It pumps me up. I want to be here as long as possible."

After beating Muguruza in Dubai, she added: "The hard work's paid off. I think I didn't have a good beginning of the season, the Australian series. Coming here, all the work pays off. That's it. It's the golden rule."

Final Results for February's WTA Breakthrough of the Month

1. Daria Kasatkina (50%)
2. Kateryna Kozlova (35%)
3. Victoria Kuzmova (15%)

How it works:

Finalists are selected by
Winner is then determined by a fan vote on

Previous WTA Breakthroughs of the Month for 2018
January: Hsieh Su-wei