Osaka crowned at BNP Paribas Open for first career title
Indian Wells, March 19: Naomi Osaka from Japan captured her first career title, the 2018 BNP Paribas Open women’s tennis singles champion, with a commanding 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Daria Kasatkina of Russia.
The hard hitting 20-year-old Japanese was in control of the final and became the youngest champion at the event on Sunday, a WTA Premier Mandatory event, since Ana Ivanovic in 2008, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Naomi Osaka is the first unseeded champion – and first player to win seven matches – in Indian Wells since Kim Clijsters in 2005,” BNP Paribas Open tweeted after the 70- minute match, which was seen as a next-gen battle of future women’s champions.
Before the final, Osaka had defeated Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep during these past two weeks in Tennis Paradise.
The world No. 44 took away the 1.3 million U.S. dollars winner’s check, nearly doubling her career earnings. She’s projected to rise to world No. 22 in Monday’s new WTA rankings.
The world No. 19 Kasatkina also had a run to remember in Indian Wells this year, beating Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams consecutively, all top 20 foes and all Grand Slam champions. Kasatkina will rise eight spots to No. 11 in the rankings.
“First of all, congratulations to Naomi and all your team here. You guys are doing a good job. Shame you didn’t show me a tweener today!” said Kasatkina after the match.
“The last thing tell you guys, never give up, believe in your dreams, and let’s keep going. See you next year, Indian Wells!”
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