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Naomi Osaka stuns Daria Kasatkina to grab maiden title — WTA Indian Wells

Naomi Osaka stuns Daria Kasatkina to grab maiden title — WTA Indian Wells

20-year-old Naomi Osaka shocked the tennis world this weekend by taking the title in Indian Wells, defeating fellow 20-year-old Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-2 in just 70 minutes in the final.

It was hardly surprising that there were nerves.

As well as Osaka has been playing, Kasatkina should have just enough to come through this and lift her first Premier Mandatory title.

Osaka is in lots of ways a little different.

Though she has never competed in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global in earnest, Osaka has starred in Singapore before.

She had made it past the quarterfinals at a WTA event just once before, losing in the final at Tokyo 18 months ago.

Osaka started the more aggressive of the two at the start of the second set - broken at the start of the second set. By now Osaka was looking more and more ominous. After splitting the opening sets, a break late in the decider settled it in Kasatkina's favour 4-6 6-4 7-5.

Osaka captured the title on her first match point by blasting a backhand into the open side of the court. Kasatkina delayed the inevitable. The errors would ultimately prove costly for Kasatkina, bringing up Osaka's first championship point.

Osaka's task now is to find greater consistency, and to convert her obvious talent and skillset into deep runs at tournaments week-in, week-out. "So I wanted her to do whatever she wanted to do, and I was just going to sit back and, like, see what she does".

Halep moves on to the semi-finals where she will face Japan's Naomi Osaka who beat fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-3.

Del Potro edges Federer in 3 sets to win Indian Wells title
However Federer broke right at the pivotal moment to go up 5-4, and it looked like it was all but over for Del Potro. I just enjoying this life, playing around the world. "I never miss that forehand", Del Potro added while smiling.

If she can do that, then we better get used to more wonderfully ill-prepared speeches. "I think we were both nervous at the beginning, because [this was our] biggest finals so far".

She continued": "She's very powerful.

Her parents and sister Mari, a tennis player, too, weren't on hand in California. Kasatkina's backhand is arguably her best shot, particularly her slice. "Yeah, so she's really tough". She giggled, fidgeted and rambled, before admitting "this is probably going to be the worst acceptance speech of all time".

"Let's say I'm living by this sentence: Dream and do it. That was pretty embarrassing". I don't know where I went with that.' Analyzing the match, Osaka added: 'I was extremely stressed and extremely nervous.

"I mean, I already forgot what he told me".

'But I just tried everything. So I couldn't afford to lose points based on nerves, and I had to keep making the right decisions.

"Hi, I'm Naomi, " she began, trying out her wry sense of humor on the crowd.

"I'm really grateful about that and I'm also really happy that they were cheering for me", she said. So then I was sort of, like, Caveman SpongeBob.

She won five consecutive games from 3-3 in the first before Kasatkina got on the scoreboard in the second.

It's on to Miami for the Miami Open.