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Osaka overpowers Kasatkina to lift Paribas Open

19 March, 2018, 12:51 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Williams

Fast forward one year, and the last two women standing, who would contest one of the most prestigious titles in women's tennis, were both 20 years old, and part of the youngest final since 2001 when a 19-year-old Serena Williams would beat the 17-year-old Kim Clijsters.

Her inability to play her usual crafty game saw Kasatkina growing increasingly frustrated with herself after every error made, and a double-break advantage for Osaka soon ensued. She also has a better record having gone 167-75 in singles so far compared with Osaka's 149-104. Osaka beat the current No. 1 player on the WTA Tour, 26-year-old Simona Halep, by hitting harder and smarter and dispatching the sulking Romanian in two quick sets. She owns wins over all four current Grand Slam titleholders in the a year ago.

Osaka made short work of Halep, racing to a 6-3, 6-0 victory to set up today's (tomorrow morning, Singapore time) clash against Kasatkina, who continued her sparkling run of form after outlasting American veteran Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a slugfest lasting nearly three hours.

"I feel like there is a new generation", Osaka said, "and we're trying to push through".

"Both of them deserve to be in the final", Halep said. Little wonder, perhaps, given the size of the stage and the size of the occasion.

Osaka had a nervy start, hitting unforced errors on her first three points on serve to face triple break point.

She also alluded to her age, which gave her the willpower to take Williams the distance and breaking her serve seven times in total.

A cleverly-angled crosscourt forehand from Osaka saw her gain two break points in the next game and the Japanese broke on her second opportunity to draw level.

That's how long it took to dispatch former No. 1 Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

Kasatkina began her tournament in the second round after receiving a bye. Osaka defeated Kasatkina to win the BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament.

Williams served a love game to go up 5-4.

"Basically she was much better today than me, so she really deserved to win", Kasatkina said. She lives and trains in South Florida.

"Actually, my head was quite empty", she said, smiling.

"This is probably going to be the worst acceptance speech of all time", said Osaka, who has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father.

It was far from ideal, but charming nevertheless.

"She's very powerful. She's playing, serving good, and doesn't have weaknesses".


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