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Magnificent Osaka claims maiden title at Indian Wells

Magnificent Osaka claims maiden title at Indian Wells

Unseeded Naomi Osaka beat Daria Kasatkina in a battle of the fast risers to claim her maiden and biggest title of her career to date at the BNP Paribas Open. She dropped one set in seven matches. She left ranked No. 22 and with a $1.3 million check, almost double her career earnings.

Among those Kasatkina beat were U.S. Open victor Sloane Stephens, No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 10 Angelique Kerber and No. 8 Venus Williams. Whereas, Kasatkina edges closer than ever to a top-10 debut, finding herself at the 11th spot after a terrific fortnight.

Osaka grasped her opportunity, another powerful backhand sealing the opening set in 39 minutes on a sunny day in California. "Of course, we were both nervous at the beginning, because the biggest finals so far".

Though she has never competed in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global in earnest, Osaka has starred in Singapore before.

However, up against a fellow 20-year-old in Kasatkina, Osaka was not be over overawed as she muscled her way to victory in straight sets, winning 6-3, 6-2.

"I can not believe I won this tournament, beating Roger in a great final and level of tennis", Del Potro said. And she will get better with practice-and very soon.

Osaka, victor of her first WTA title at the Premier Mandatory event, soars 19 places to No.6 in the Race this week, while runner-up Kasatkina gets a bump of four places to No.7.

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Osaka told media after the match: "I was extremely stressed and extremely nervous, but my plan was to fake that I'm very calm". My coach Philippe, my brother Alex, my fitness coach isn't here but still I love him so much. Osaka took advantage, serving out the opening set 6-3. She is the first unseeded victor since Kim Clijsters in 2005 and the second-youngest since Ana Ivanovic in 2008. I tried also to push a little bit the ball and then to hit it.

Osaka had a tough draw on paper, but only lost one set (to Maria Sakkari in the fourth round) en route to the title.

Kasatkina and Osaka will be sharing a private jet to Miami where they will be competing next, with the Russian joking that she hoped they would get there without fighting too much, while Osaka smiled as she wondered whether Kasatkina would talk to her on the flight.

Her inexperience at making victory speeches showed.

Twenty-year-old Daria Kasatkina was tight. "That was pretty embarrassing".

Del Potro became the first Argentine champion in the 42-year history of the desert tournament.

I feel like I wasn't that aggressive today.

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