The 19-year-old Russian Kasatkina won Charleston, and she looked extremely confident, smoking Jelena Ostapenko in the final. She didn’t have to best the top-20 players, but at the very least, she was very steady and precise. Will she crack the top 10 at the end of the year? Maybe not, but she is very young and driven.
The Latvian looked a little tired at the final, but she did score a couple very good wins: upsetting Caro Wozniaki and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. She is also only 19 years old, and in 2014, she won junior Wimbledon. She is learning all the time.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova
This duo is ranked No. 1 (Mattek- Sands) and No. 2 (Safarova) won Charleston, beating Lucie Hradecka/Katerina Siniakova. Both Mattek-Sands and Safarova are consummate veterans, and while they don’t exactly love clay. In six weeks, they will enter Roland Garros, and maybe, if they can be calm and composed, they can win it all.
‘Pavs’ has been playing for 10 years. Somedays, she plays great and she is enthusiastic. Other days, her brain was fried.
In Monterrey, Mexico, she was on the ball, defeating Angelique Kerber in the final. That was the third time that the No. 16 won Monterrey. She must love the food. Without a doubt, sometime soon she will be very close at the Grand Slams.
Yes, the German reached the final, beating two good players: the former champ Francesca Schiavone and the owner of a terrific one-hander Carla Suarez Navarro. But the No. 1 Kerber hasn’t won a tournament since the 2016 US Open, seven months running. Time to figure things out.