Del Potro edges Federer in 3 sets to win Indian Wells title

Osaka has much better point construction, and knows when to pull the trigger instead of going for near impossible winners. "I'd like to thank my team for, um, putting up with me, and yeah that's basically it". They're watching in Florida, so, hi!

'It's always nice to watch them. Yonnex! Ok. Um ... what did I forget? She holds dual citizenship, living for a time in NY and now in South Florida while representing Japan in Fed Cup.

If that made for some disjointed reading, it certainly made for great viewing.

In something of a surprise final, 20th seed Daria Kasatkina of Russian Federation takes on Japan's Naomi Osaka.

Perhaps it is a required reminder, because Osaka had just spent the week doing a fine job resembling a seasoned-pro.

They couldn't have known at the time, but Daria Kasatkina and Naomi Osaka, the Indian Wells finalists, started their breakthroughs by helping each other out.

Osaka's victory capped a run that included beating two-time victor Maria Sharapova, No. 5 Karolina Pliskova and top-ranked Simona Halep during the two-week tournament. But will it be the impressive retrieving skills of Kasatkina or the power of Osaka that triumphs?

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Reflecting on her victory over Kasatkina, who stunned Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams during the event, Osaka said: "I was extremely stressed and extremely nervous, but my plan was to fake that I'm very calm".

Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka will have little time to celebrate in her first career victory with the Japanese drawing eight-time champion Serena Williams in the first round of next week's Miami Open.

"Yeah, I wasn't - I feel like I wasn't that aggressive today". 'It was tough to play, because the ball was really moving.

Consecutive service holds followed, though it was Osaka who faced more troubles, especially with Kasatkina earning another break point in the seventh game.

The win ranks up there with Del Potro's 2009 U.S. Open title, in which he beat Federer, and helping Argentina win the Davis Cup in 2016. However, it was a flawless display from the conqueror of world number one Simona Halep, who served a clean ace to save the break point and eventually take the tight and nervy game.

Her backhand ticked the baseline on match point, and she paused, unsure whether it was good or not. Now, she's 15-4 this year. She is also more sure of herself and appears more confident, probably one of the most important improvements for going forward in the long term.

It may seem remarkable to Osaka coming up against her childhood hero, but as the higher-ranked player and recent victor of a Premier Mandatory event, she will start as the heavy favourite against the great Williams still in the early stages of her comeback.

  • Regina Holmes