Indian Wells: Sunday's Order of Play and Match Points

Daria Kasatkina upset Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a almost three-hour baseline struggle and Naomi Osaka routed top-ranked Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0 in 64 minutes on Friday night to set up a final between two 20-year-olds.

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.

"She was much better today than me, so she really deserved to win", Kasatkina said.

Alyssa Roenigk is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com whose assignments have taken her to six continents and caused her to commit countless acts of recklessness.

"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.

But all joking aside, Kasatkina knows what she's going up against on Sunday.

That is not to say that Osaka does not move well and has shifted her game style from being a powerful counter-puncher to a more aggressive baseliner.

As Osaka noted in her press conference: "I feel like maybe I came out a little bit slower than she has, because she's obviously seeded in this tournament and stuff".

The unseeded Haitian-Japanese player became the youngest Indian Wells champion since Ana Ivanovic was victorious a decade ago.


Osaka will look to dominate this match using her forehand.

It would be a surprise to see Osaka maintain such a pace against Kasatkina, a player capable of building leads quickly during her run in California. But will it be the impressive retrieving skills of Kasatkina or the power of Osaka that triumphs? She is the third Russian to make the Indian Wells final in the last two years, after compatriots Elena Vesnina and Svetlana Kuznetsova faced off last year.

She also broke Kasatkina to go up 4-1 with another precision forehand victor down the line and never looked back.

When asked to describe what her biggest strength is, Kasatkina says it is her fighting spirit and jokes that her seemingly nerves of steel are "from cold Russia".

In the quarterfinals she faced another former #1 in the shape of the big serving Karolina Pliskova.

"I really wanted to win this, but also I just tried to think it was a first-round match and just not psych myself out too much", Osaka said.

The top seed battled through three closely matched sets amid windy conditions on court to win 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-3.

And, after almost three hours on court, that's precisely what she did, earning a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory to advance to her first WTA Premier Mandatory final.

"It wasn't easy", said Osaka, who improved to 14-4 in 2018.


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