Naomi Osaka claimed her first WTA title at Indian Wells (also known as BNP Paribas Open). The Haitian-American-Japanese professional tennis player beat Russian Daria Kasatkina in straight sets 6-3 6-2 in just over an hour.
Presently, Osaka represents Japan in competitions which is her mother’s country. And She made her WTA debut in 2014. With just under four years, she lands her first title in an historical way.
She dropped just one set in the entire tournament. In the round of 16 match against Maria Sakkari. Osaka is now the youngest champion at Indian Wells Masters since retired Serbian Ana Ivanovic in 2008. Uniquely Ivanovic was just 18 years old at the time.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 18, 2018
Osaka is 20 years old and beat Kasatkina who is 19 years old. Which is also the first time two players below 21 will contest in finals at Indian Wells. The last two were 20 years Serena Williams and 18 years Kim Clijsters in 2001. Williams did win on that day.
Apparently it wasn’t an easy routine win for Osaka who beat Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova and current world number one Simona Halep to reach the finals. And also a tough final match against Kasatkina. Coupled with the fact that Kasatkina beat four major champions (Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams) enroute to the final.
Osaka is currently ranked 44th in ranking. With the title win, it would see her up to a career-high 22th in world rankings.
This is just Naomi Osaka second career finals. She reach the finals of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan in 2016. And then lost in straight sets 7-5 6-3 to Caroline Wozniacki.
She is now the only third unseeded player to have won the Women’s title at this very event. Previous two were Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters.
In addition, the WTA Miami Masters starts this week and will Naomi Osaka claim back to back Masters title?