Shelby Rogers continued her dominant week at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, defeating Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-4 to advance to her first final in six years. Rogers will face Daria Kasatkina in Sunday's final. A finalist in San Jose last year, Kasatkina booked her spot on Championship Sunday with a 6-2, 6-4 win over No.4 Paula Badosa.
Rogers on the brink of a milestone: The 29-year-old will be looking to finally break through to win her first career title. The big-hitting American has been unstoppable this week, tallying wins against Bianca Andreescu, top seed Maria Sakkari, Amanda Anisimova and Kudermetova without losing a set. Rogers has not lost more than four games in any set she's played.
The warm conditions during the day have fed right into Rogers' serve. Through her four matches she has been broken just three times.
"Amazing," Rogers said. "This is the position you want to be in every single week. This is what we train for. As much as you sacrifice and put in the work, it's just nice to see it all come together. This is probably one of the most fun weeks that I've had on tour. That says a lot about why I'm playing well."
"I'm trying not to get too high or too low. I'm just taking it one point at a time and focus on the things I can control. My serve has been working really well this week and I just feel like I want to hit every ball, which is a nice feeling."
Kasatkina's outstanding season continues: Playing her first tournament since Berlin, Kasatkina beat Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and two Top 10 players in No.6 Aryna Sabalenka and No.4 Paula Badosa to make her first final of the season. The 25-year-old has quietly put together one of the best seasons of her career, having made back-to-back semifinals in Rome and Roland Garros and now a win away from returning to the Top 10 for the first time since 2019.
"Playing two times in a row the finals here in San Jose it means it's a special place for me," Kasatkina said. "
As she has done all week, Kasatkina played a disciplined and contained game to bait Badosa into hitting herself out of the match. Kasatkina hit 11 winners to 11 unforced errors while Badosa struck 16 winners to 30 unforced errors. Kasatkina rolled through the opening set after 30 minutes but was forced to rally from a break down twice in the second set to seal her fourth win over a Top 5 opponent this season.
Sunday's final will be a contrast of styles: The head-to-head is tied 1-1, with Kasatkina winning their last meeting in May at Roland Garros. Rogers won their only meeting on a hard court, which came in 2017 in Miami.
"I love her, she's a great person," Kasatkina said. "I'm really happy to share this day and special moment with her on the court. It will be good memories. But of course on the court we will fight against each other, but at the end of the day it will be special."
The challenge will be for Kasatkina to blunt Rogers' flat baseline power. Kasatkina has had good practice at precisely that this week in which she earned wins against players like Sabalenka and Rybakina. Rogers has yet to play someone as crafty and disciplined as Kasatkina, a player who will be stingy in handing over free points.