Monday, 22 October, 2018

Kasatkina v Osaka the Next Gen Final at WTA Indian Wells

Venus into Indian Wells semis for first time since 2001 World No. 44 Naomi Osaka Routs No. 1 Simona Halep to Reach BNP Paribas Open Final
Frederick Owens | 17 March, 2018, 19:20

Halep, who only won 33 per cent of her second serves in the first set, slowly found her rhythm - hitting some impressive winners to level the contest at 2-2 and 3-3. And she was, you know, ready to play and ready to win the match.

Williams was never seriously tested by the Spaniard, who converted just one of her seven break-point opportunities en route to her fourth consecutive loss to the American.

"I'm really grateful about that and I'm also really happy that they were cheering for me", she said.

"Maybe one of the best nights in my life, for sure".

Neither Kasatkina nor Osaka have much experience in big matches with the Japanese player's only career final coming in Tokyo in 2016 and her opponent's lone singles title coming in Charleston previous year. Moments earlier, Halep delivered a terrific forehand victor down the line, but she couldn't carry the momentum, slipping to deuce and ultimately losing the final two games of the set.

Anisimova, a 16-year-old wild card, won her first three WTA Tour matches at Indian Wells, beating Pauline Parmentier, No. 23 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and two-time Wimbledon victor Petra Kvitova without dropping a set.

Williams had 45 winners - 15 more than Kasatkina - and 63 unforced errors.

On the men's side, Gael Monfils retired in the second set with a back injury trailing fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hughes Herbert 6-2, 3-1.

Asked if she was exhausted, Williams said, "She just played better at the end".

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Kasatkina's coach visited her again before the third set.

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

Williams double-faulted twice in a row to drop serve and trail 6-5. "I have to stop making that many errors against her".

Kasatkina fired one ace, hit five double faults and broke Williams's serve seven times in the entertaining match. "It was really pretty much that simple". In the third set Williams broke for a 2-0 lead, but could not stay out front.

Juan Martin del Potro (6), Argentina, def. Philipp Kohlschreiber (31), Germany, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

No. 18 Sam Querrey rallied past Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4.

Top-ranked Simona Halep took on Naomi Osaka, a 20-year-old from Japan, in the other semifinal.

The Russian, also 20, continued her sparkling run of form earlier in the evening when she outlasted American veteran Venus Williams in a three-set slugfest lasting nearly three hours.

Bob and Mike Bryan (7), United States, def. Pablo Cuevas, Uruguay, and Horacio Zeballos, Argentina, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

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