Osaka tops Kasatkina to win Indian Wells title
Indian Wells (United States) (AFP)
Unseeded Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player to win the Indian Wells final, routing Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday for her first WTA Tour title.
World number 44 Osaka rolled over Kasatkina, breaking her serve four times and winning the battle of the 20-year-old rising stars in just 70 minutes.
Osaka was only the fourth unseeded player to reach the Indian Wells final, with the most recent before her being Kim Clijsters in 2005.
Osaka improved to 13-4 on the season two days after her biggest previous win, dominating world number one Simona Halep in a straight-sets semi-final victory.
The loss ends a brilliant run in the California desert by Kasatkina, who was playing in her second final in a row after a runner-up finish in Dubai.
Kasatkina was two points from defeat against Venus Williams in the semi-finals but rallied for the upset triumph.
Osaka blasted five aces, made three double faults and won 79 percent of her first-serve points.
Like Osaka, Kasatkina was playing in her first Indian Wells final and this was the first time both finalists were under age 21 since Serena Williams beat Clijsters in 2001.
Osaka captured the title on her first match point by blasting a backhand into the open side of the court.
© 2018 AFP