She's got game! A year on from what she admitted was just her second-ever lesson with girlfriend Daria Kasatkina in Dubai, Natalia Zabiiako is showing marked improvement on the tennis court.

The former Olympic figure skater debuted some new skills in an Instagram reel Wednesday, cheekily soundtracked to Jagwar Twin's "Bad Feeling," that showcased a decent split-step, a semblance of feel in the forecourt, good lateral movement.

But most impressively of all, it seems that Zabiiako has gotten the jumping backhand form that is her girlfriend's trademark down pat. (So much show, that she slowed it down for emphasis.)

Her muse was impressed.

"Who teaches you this??" Kasatkina could be found joking in the comments.

"I'm just watching a lot of tennis," Zabiiako retorted.


The results back her up: World No. 12 Kasatkina is one of four players on the WTA Tour to have appeared in more than one final so far this year, having finished runner-up in Adelaide and Abu Dhabi across the season's first two months.

And while Kasatkina lost in the first round in both Doha and Dubai following her runner-up finish to Elena Rybakina in Abu Dhabi, the latest episode of the couple's famous vlog dropped this week from the latter, as they chronicled the Middle East's second WTA 1000 event. In it, they went behind the scenes of the tournament's players' party with eventual runner-up Anna Kalinskaya, clowned with Aryna Sabalenka about her (lack of) dancing skills, and got Italian Lucia Bronzetti's real thoughts on pineapple as a pizza topping.

Never one to hide how she's feeling in the vlog format, Kasatkina closed the video with a candid discussion with Zabiiako about how recency bias shapes tennis players' thinking, and how that can be mentally taxing throughout the year.

"The fact that we have a lot of tournaents is of course difficult, if you play all the tournaments, then constantly winning them, reaching the finals is unrealistically difficult, physically and psychologically," she says. "This week didn't work out, last week too, but we will try to make everything work out next tournament week."

"I believe in you," Zabiiako adds, "and I'm always here for you."