Everything changed for Naomi Osaka and Daria Kasatkina after the two young pros met in last year's Indian Wells final. You've probably heard that Osaka won two of the next four Grand Slam tournaments and rose to No. 1 in the world. Her run to that Indian Wells final—which she won—catapulted the 20-year-old to new heights.

Kasatkina has been a different story. Still just 21, the Russian first announced herself at Charleston in 2017, when she won the green-clay title with the kind of controlled aggression that plays well on any surface. She has the game and the smarts to beat all types of players, regardless of their style or ranking.

“Today, the tactic was to be a little bit more defensive,” Kasatkina said after beating Jelena Ostapenko, 6-3, 6-1, to win the Volvo Car Open. “Go back, spin, slice the ball because it’s clay, and she’s playing really aggressive. And usually she is beating aggressive players because she likes this type of game. So we decide that I have to go back and make her tired. So it was a good tactic, I think.”

A year later, Kasatkina reached the final of Dubai, a tournament with a much smaller field than Indian Wells but one equally as potent. Her subsequent run to the BNP Paribas Open final wasn't surprising on the surface, but the way she got there—with wins over Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams—was jaw-dropping. She went on to reach two Grand Slam quarterfinals and closed 2018 with an indoor title in Moscow.

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What's up with Kasatkina? Dasha's dismal season continues vs. Venus

What's up with Kasatkina? Dasha's dismal season continues vs. Venus

But any momentum Kasatkina generated last season was seemingly lost on New Year's Eve. On Sunday, she faced Williams in Miami; at Indian Wells last year, Kasatkina won a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 classic. This time, Williams won in a rout, 6-3, 6-1. It marked the fifth straight-set defeat she's suffered this season, and her record is just 2-7.

"I have no goals anymore because I messed up with all of the high expectations I had in my head," Kasatkina told David Kane of wtatennis.com. And that was after she won a match in Miami.

An escape from hard courts can't come soon enough for Kasatkina. As of this writing, she isn't entered in Charleston. Wherever she decides to play next, she's at least set the bar low enough that it shouldn't be difficult to clear it.

What's up with Kasatkina? Dasha's dismal season continues vs. Venus

What's up with Kasatkina? Dasha's dismal season continues vs. Venus