Rising tennis star Daria Kasatkina: I want to be Lionel Messi so much

Daria Kasatkina reacts

New kid on the block Daria Kasatkina is making waves at the Indian Wells, but says “I don’t want people to think that I’m somebody really special”.

The 20-year-old Russian reached the semi-final of a WTA Premier Mandatory event for the first time after she destroyed two-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-2 in 57 minutes in the quarter-final of the BNP Paribas Open.

She also dispatched US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki along the way.

Currently ranked 19th in the world, Kasatkina has the world at her feet, but she’s not getting carried away.

“I don’t want people to think that I’m somebody really special,” she is quoted as saying by WTATennis.com. “Because I’m just a normal human who loves football, who loves good food, you know. So I’m just somebody who is also playing tennis.”

As for her love for football, she was asked to compare herself to a player and replied: “I know the answer, because I wanted to say, like, Messi. But most probably maybe Iniesta. Or maybe both. Because I want to be Messi so much!”