Indian Wells, California, USA: 20-year-old Haitian-Japanese woman, Naomi Osaka, today, Sunday, won her first WTA title beating Daria Kasatkina from Russia, 6-3 6-2, at the final of Indian Wells Masters also known as BNP Paribas Open. Naomi Osaka becomes the youngest champion at Indian Wells since Ana Ivanovic in 2008. Osaka will move up to number 22 in the world ranking with this result. Naomi Osaka is
also the first unseeded champion – and first player to win seven matches – in Indian Wells since Kim Clijsters in 2005
Daria Kasatkina from Russia – also 20 – had scored an upset win over Venus Williams in her semi-final.
Unseeded Haitian-Japanese Osaka overcame world No 1 Halep 6-3 6-0, winning nine straight games from 3-3 in the first set to dump the top seed out of the competition. Naomi’s mother is Japanese while her father is from Haiti.
Having stormed to the brink of victory, Osaka was made to work hard in a final game which included six deuces before she got over the line on her third match-point.
Naomi Osaka and Daria Kasatkina defeated six former WTA number ones between them to both reach the Indian Wells final. Naomi beat Sharapova, Pliskova and Halep and Kasatkina defeated Venus Williams, Wozniacki and Kerber.
Naomi Osaka and Daria Kasatkina, both 20, are the youngest Indian Wells finalists since Caro in 2010. Naomi Osaka, the world No. 44 is the lowest-ranked player to reach the Indian Wells final since No. 133 Kim Clijsters won the title in 2005.