Halep in Indian Wells semis, 6-3, 6-0

Mar 19, 2018, 04:07
Halep in Indian Wells semis, 6-3, 6-0

Naomi Osaka and Daria Kasatkina will go head to head for the BNP Paribas Open title after stunning Simona Halep and Venus Williams respectively in the semi-finals at Indian Wells on Friday.

Japanese dynamo Naomi Osaka punched her ticket to the Indian Wells final on Friday, routing world No. 1 Simona Halep to set up a title clash with rising star Daria Kasatkina.

"Basically she was much better today than me, so she really deserved to win", Kasatkina said of Osaka. She came into the tournament at No. 19, two spots lower than her career-best.

"I beat very good players, and in the right moments I was doing the right decisions, so it means I'm growing as a player", Kasatkina said.

After earning ovations throughout the tournament with her aggressive shot making, Osaka said she was happy to hear the center court crowd on her side against Halep.

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Pliskova had just one chance to break in the opener, but it was quickly brushed aside by a backhand down the line from Osaka. "I knew what to do".

Del Potro arrived at Indian Wells having won a title in Acapulco and back in the top 10. "She's hitting her forehand, backhand, so she's really tough".

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

She was broken to open the second set and again in the fifth game, giving Osaka a 4-1 lead on her forehand victor down the line. She did it for the second time in Indian Wells, winning their third round match 6-4, 6-3.

Osaka's only previous WTA final came at the 2016 Toray Pan Pacific in Tokyo, when she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. I love the way that they are motivated and they are still playing at this age and Serena with the kid, said world No 1 Halep.

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Osaka took advantage, serving out the opening set 6-3. She will try and change the rhythm with slices, lifts and lobs and she moves well around the court.

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.

This final was unexpectedly one-sided as Kasatkina failed to display her best tennis, but Osaka put up a ideal display of aggressive tennis and controlled aggression, being consistent and solid at the same time.

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina defeated No. 31 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Milos Raonic beat 18th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to reach the men's semifinals.

"I'm a bit exhausted", Kasatkina said during an on-court interview after the match.

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"It feels a little bit lonely, because there's, like, nobody here", Osaka told the media in Indian Wells.

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