Naomi Osaka defeats Daria Kasatkina to win WTA BNP Paribas Open title at Indian Wells
Osaka will rise to a career-high No 22 in Monday's WTA Tour rankings
By Sky Sports Tennis
Last Updated: 18/03/18 10:09pm
Naomi Osaka claimed the biggest title of her career as she defeated fellow 20-year-old Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-2 in the BNP Paribas Open final at Indian Wells.
The Haitian-Japanese had beaten Maria Sharapova and world No 1 Simona Halep this week and recovered from a shaky start in Sunday's showpiece to defeat the 20th seed to become the first unseeded champion at the event since Kim Clijsters in 2005.
Osaka dropped her serve in the opening game but rarely faltered thereafter as she sealed victory in 70 minutes against an opponent who had beaten four major champions, Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams, en route to the final.
Osaka told media after the match: "I was extremely stressed and extremely nervous, but my plan was to fake that I'm very calm.
"I just knew that she was going to fight for every point, too, so I couldn't afford to lose points based on nerves, and I had to keep making the right decisions."
"She was much better today than me, so she really deserved to win," Kasatkina said. "Of course, we were both nervous at the beginning, because the biggest finals so far. But during the match, she was able to manage her nerves and stuff, and I was still a little bit tight during the match. So it is what it is."
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