Osaka vs. Kasatkina
|Date & Time||Sunday March 18, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Daria Kasatkina and Naomi Osaka meet in the final of the 2018 Indian Wells Masters.
Daria Kasatkina is coming off a three sets win over Venus Williams that took 32 games to decide. In the victory, Kasatkina won 59 percent of her first serve points and 52 percent of her second serve points. Kasatkina managed to dig deep in her marathon match that lasted about three hours, as she came back after dropping the first set and got 73 percent of her first serves in play. Kasatkina has now beaten four straight top-25 players to get to this final and is clearly enjoying her breakthrough tournament. At just 20 years old, Kasatkina has quickly put the tennis community on notice, as she’s been extremely impressive in all of her matches. Kasatkina hopes to win her second career title and the first since last years Volvo Car Open. Kasatkina is 1-2 in final appearances for her career and is 0-2 in final appearances on hard court. Kasatkina has won nine of her last 10 matches on hard court.
Naomi Osaka is coming off a straight sets win over Simona Halep that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Osaka won 62 percent of her first serve points and 56 percent of her second serve points. Osaka simply dominated the top ranked player in the world by using her overwhelming power and not letting Halep get comfortable. Osaka won 88 percent of her service points and 71 percent of her return points, pure dominance. Osaka has very little experience coming through in big matches and usually lets the nerves get the best of her, but at 20 years old, she’s another young player who may be on the path of putting it together. Osaka is in her second career final and first since the 2016 Toray Pan Pacific Open. Osaka has never won a final in her WTA career. Osaka has has won 11 of her last 13 matches on hard court.
This will be the first time these two meet on the tennis court.
Both of these players made me look foolish in the semifinals. I gave Kasatkina a chance but still picked Venus. I’ve been driving the Osaka bandwagon the last couple of years, but couldn’t bring myself to pick her over Halep. As for this match, I’m going with Osaka. As impressive as Kasatkina’s run has been, Osaka has the overwhelming power to the point most matches are decided on her racket. As long as nerves don’t get in the ay, she can overpower her opponent with ease, something we saw Friday night.
Osaka wins her first final, one of many to come, as she’s a future star in this sport.