Naomi Osaka beats Daria Kasatkina to lift Indian Wells trophy
- Author: Jill Young Mar 21, 2018,
Mar 21, 2018, 7:58
They soon looked more assured, but the 20th seed gifted Osaka the opportunity to serve for opening set with a poor service game, which her opponent won with a rasping backhand victor. Daria Kasatkina put out US Open champion Sloane Stephens and world No 2 Caroline Wozniacki, thrashed world No 10 Angelique Kerber, and outlasted seven-time major victor Venus Williams.
The rising star from Japan won nine of her last 11 games against a fellow 20-year-old in Kasatkina, overpowering her in the return game and holding a 5-2 edge in aces to win in almost 71 minutes. "I think we were both nervous at the beginning, because (this was our) biggest finals so far". She singled out Kasatkina and apologised for not starting her speech with her, while Osaka's own team got a memorable shout out. Vulnerable to making unforced errors in bunches and to faltering when forced to hit on the move, she seemed much more stable under pressure in Indian Wells.
Naomi Osaka and Daria Kasatkina will go head to head for the Paribas Open title after stunning Simona Halep and Venus Williams respectively in the semi-finals here on Friday.
So I'm glad that you said that, so that means it worked.
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Naomi Osaka and Daria Kasatkina are travelling together from Indian Wells to Miami on Monday morning, at 4:00 AM, in a private jet.
"Basically she was much better today than me, so she really deserved to win", Kasatkina said.
'But I just tried everything. She then defeated reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens in straight sets 6-3 6-4.
The 20-year-old is the youngest champion at Indian Wells since Ana Ivanovic in 2008. "But during the match she was able to manage her nerves and stuff, and I was still a little bit tight".
'I returned the ball well, said Osaka.
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Osaka had a tough draw on paper, but only lost one set (to Maria Sakkari in the fourth round) en route to the title.
The 20-year-old then embarked on what she expected to be quite a poor victory speech.
Halep may be the top ranked player in the world but she is quick to point out the brilliance of Serena, who took an extended period of time off from the Tour to have a baby.
Afterward, she admitted, "That was pretty embarrassing". She lives and trains in South Florida. Federer's 17-match winning streak - the best start of his career - ended.
Juan Martin del Potro keeps surprising himself. She owns wins over all four current Grand Slam titleholders in the previous year.
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