Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Kasatkina outlasts Venus to advance to Indian Wells final

Williams Kasatkina outlasts Venus to advance to Indian Wells final
Shannon Reynolds | 19 March, 2018, 00:42

"I just was not ready".

"I just want to be on the central court, prime time", she said, smiling. "I don't find excuses". "You're just staying on the return, and you're like, 'Come on, maybe it's the moment of your life'". She has reached as high as the world No. 40 ranking in women's singles and has posted an impressive singles match record throughout her career.

Osaka was born in Osaka, Japan, but is a dual citizen after living in America since the age of three. She defeated No. 31 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 5 Karolina Pliskova on her way to the final, dropping just one set in six matches.

Kasatkina reached her maiden Indian Wells decider after rallying to upstage former world No.1 and seven-time Major champion Williams 4-6 6-4 7-5. "Of course, we were both nervous at the beginning, because the biggest finals so far".

Williams won her first four matches at Indian Wells in straight sets, including a 6-3, 6-4 victory over sister Serena in the third round.

Kasatkina, who came within two points of defeat in the final set over Venus Williams on Friday before winning 12 of last 16 points, became even tenser and indulged in an untimely streak of loose errors.

A crunching backhand volley on match point earned Osaka her first title and crown of "the queen of the desert" in California.

World number 44 Osaka rolled over Kasatkina, breaking her serve four times and winning the battle of the 20-year-old rising stars in just 70 minutes.

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I'm sick of it". "We could have been a little cleaner down the stretch", Paul said. He never gets a call. "I walked away from him so I wouldn't get a technical foul".

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. Venus hit a cross-court forehand victor on the first match point but then dumped a backhand into the net to end the two hour, 49 minute marathon showdown.

She was broken to open the second set and again in the fifth game, giving Osaka a 4-1 lead on her forehand victor down the line.

Florida happens to be Osaka's home, so she will enjoy even greater support than the wave of goodwill she received in Indian Wells.

Williams double-faulted twice in a row to drop serve and trail 6-5.

"You kind of hope for this kind of scoreline, but you never know if you're actually going to get it", Williams said.

She highlighted 2017 by claiming her first crown in Charleston, beating fellow teenager Jelena Ostapenko in the final.

Besides Stephens and Australian Open victor Wozniacki, Kasatkina has beaten the other current Grand Slam titleholders in the past year: French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.

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