Osaka claims maiden title at Indian Wells

Indian Wells 2018: Naomi Osaka wins first title in style against Daria Kasatkina

Indian Wells: World No 1 Simona Halep crashed out of the WTA Indian Wells tournament on Friday as she suffered a shocking 6-3, 6-0 upset loss to World No 44 Naomi Osaka of Japan.

Osaka thrashed world number one Simona Halep to set up an unlikely showdown with Kasatkina and the unseeded Japanese sensation ended a dream week with a 6-3 6-2 victory. Meanwhile Philippe Dehaes looked to gee his charge up - "It's about you - how many times in this situation" and urging her to fight as she did coming from a set down in the semi-final.

"I wasn't really trying to hit hard today, because I felt like it would be better for her to take my pace", said Osaka.

Her triumph was a historic one.

Osaka is the youngest Indian Wells champion since Ana Ivanovic in 2008 and will rise to a career-high ranking of 22 on Monday. The Czech, ranked 5th in the world, had no answer for Osaka in their last eight match up, as the 21-year-old hit her off the court, recording a 6-2 6-3 win.

Furthermore, Osaka joined Williams and Clijsters as the only unseeded players to win the women's title at the event. I think we were both nervous at the beginning, because the biggest finals so far.

"I just really wanted to get a lot of balls back, because in Australia I made too many unforced errors, and be really consistent on her return and not to give her any free points", Osaka said. "I'm really glad I was able to finish on my serve instead of having to break her or something like that".

"I was extremely stressed and extremely nervous", Osaka admitted to media.




"Basically she was much better today than me, so she really deserved to win", the Russian said.

Williams, who was winning matches in Indian Wells before Kasatkina was even born, has enjoyed a longevity in tennis that is rarely achieved.

"I don't really know what's going on right now", said the player who represents Japan, of Haitian-Japanese ancestry, who was raised in Florida.

The Russian's coach told her: "I want to see Dasha".

Osaka, who dropped just one set throughout the tournament, dominated on serve to outmuscle Kasatkina.

With clear water opening up now between the pair, Osaka delivered intent with a solid hold to love for a 5-1 lead. She's serving good, doesn't have weaknesses.

Her inexperience at making victory speeches showed.

Williams breathed heavily during changeovers and was the last to leave her chair, while Kasatkina got up just as the umpire called time and jogged to the baseline.

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