Free Press Journal

Indian Wells 2018: Naomi Osaka upsets World No.1 Simona Halep to play Daria Kasatkina in final


Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

Indian Wells: Japan’s Naomi Osaka stunned world number 1 Simona Halep of Romania in the semi-final at the Indian Wells Masters here.

The 20-year-old world number 44 made light work of Halep, beating her in straight sets 6-3, 6-0 in just 64 minutes of play on Friday night, reports Efe. The huge upset means Osaka moves on to the final on Sunday, where she will face another 20-year-old, Russian Daria Kasatkina, who beat Venus Williams in a nearly three-hour epic earlier on Friday.

Daria Kasatkina won a dramatic semi-final against American Venus Williams after coming back from a set down. She beats Venus 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 49 minutes to qualify for Sunday’s final. Kasatkina’s victory over Williams was her fourth in a row against major open champions this year at Indian Wells, after she beat Sloane Stephens, Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki, without dropping a set.

The Russian’s cool and calm performance, particularly when taking advantage of Venus’ errors late in the third set, including two double faults at 5-5, belied her age and inexperience, and allowed her to seal her place in the biggest final of her young career.

“I have become more mature, I am more confident on the court, and even in difficult situations I can find a way to keep going,” Kasatkina said.