Indian Wells: Naomi Osaka knocks out Simona Halep in semis

Daria Kasatkina will look to secure her first singles title of the 2018 season after defeating Venus Williams in three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, on Friday night in the women's singles semifinals of the 2018 BNP Paribas Open.

Then in Indian Wells this week, she beat former No1, and one of the form players of 2018, Angelique Kerber, plus Venus Williams in the semis in one of the matches of the year so far, her fourth straight top-20 win of the tournament.

Rising star Naomi Osaka stormed into the semi-finals at the BNP Paribas Open after stunning number five seed Karolina Pliskova.

"She was much better today than me, so she really deserved to win", Kasatkina said.

"But she's playing really well".

But all joking aside, Kasatkina knows what she's going up against on Sunday.

She earned $1,340,860 for the victory, almost double her career winnings of $1,483,053. 'She is one of the best servers on tour and I was able to break her quite a few times so I am really happy about that. The players duelled through eight deuces in an epic eighth game, with the Russian turning back six break points against her. Venus Williams pulled a forehand wide to lose the game. It was really tough match, yeah.

This was only Osaka's second final of her career, and her first ever title.

She won five consecutive games from 3-3 in the first before Kasatkina got on the scoreboard in the second.

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Asked how it feels to be in the final at a tournament like Indian Wells, Osaka's response is not what one would expect.

At the age of 29, Del Potro has finally ended his long wait for a first ATP Masters 1000 title.

She added at her post-match press conference, quoted by the official WTA website: "Match like this, you're just speechless".

Naomi Osaka has yet to win a tournament, having made the last four of a WTA event for just the second time - adding to her final showing at the Tokyo Pan Pacific Open in 2016.

And, after almost three hours on court, that's precisely what she did, earning a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory to advance to her first WTA Premier Mandatory final.

Kasatkina's lone WTA singles title came in Charleston, South Carolina previous year.

That may be the only sliver of silver lining Halep can take away from this match-she won't have to worry about facing Osaka in the first two rounds at Roland Garros. Osaka gained the only other break of the first set with a backhand victor on the sideline to go up 5-3.

The young Japanese, who will crack the top-30 for the first time when the new rankings are released on Monday, turned around a 0-3 record against Halep by claiming a first victory over the Romanian.

The two winners, who are both aged 20, will now meet in the final tomorrow at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

  • Tabitha Byrd