Hate fail: Russian tennis star Kasatkina calls out troll who labeled her ‘scum’ after Osaka loss - then changed mind 3 years later
Then just-turned 21, Kasatkina was having the best season of her career so far when she lost to Osaka at Indian Wells in May 2018, reaching the final before succumbing in straight sets in a match lauded by many as a showcase of two top new stars in the women's game.
In an impressive year in which she would reach the quarter-finals of the French Open and Wimbledon, there was a moment of misery for Kasatkina as she received a nasty message on Instagram following the defeat in California.
Kasatkina's unwelcome correspondence called her "scum" and even suggested that she should play for another country, issuing a harsh rebuke despite the youngster's admirable run and clash with one of the names who could dominate women's tennis for years to come.
Daria Kasatkina is through to R2 in Abu Dhabi (6-2,3-6, 6-2) Nicely done by Dasha 💪☺(📹 ESPN nl) pic.twitter.com/zOdWFKlPoo— Maarten vdMaazen (@myalansky) January 6, 2021
Any lingering hurt the Spanish-based prospect might have felt from that missive fell by the wayside with a curious twist following her success in her opening match of this year.
Having watched Kasatkina beat Wang Qiang in the first round of the Abu Dhabi opener, the same sender offered the one-time target of their venom a heart, a Russian flag and the words: “Good girl. Let's start in the doubles as well."
Celebrating her second victory of the day with the news that she appeared to have won her doubter round, Kasatkina coolly added: "I love contrasts."
The former top ten entrant had good reason to be pleased after an opening victory over a player ranked 38 places above her, launching a schedule in which she hopes to win her first tournament since 2018 and progress beyond the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time since the same year.
The 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win also made Kasatkina the first player to win a match this season, earning her appreciation for a noticeably different forehand style, as well as more than 9,000 likes on Instagram and a deluge of congratulatory messages.
They included the official WTA account and Russian figure skating champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, who wrote: "Beautiful girl! Congratulations."Also on rt.com ‘If you still hate me, that’s fine’: US tennis ace reveals he fled Russia with family on $40,000 private flight over Covid-19 saga