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WTA Rising Star Naomi Osaka Is Into The Finals Of the 2018 BNP Paribas Open

Naomi Osaka from Japan in action during her semi-final match against Simona Halep from Romania at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 16 March 2018 (issued 17 March 2018). EPA-EFE/MIKE NELSON



Naomi Osaka unleashed a nine-game eruption demolishing listless world No. 1 Simona Halep, 6-3, 6-0, to charge into the Indian Wells final.


Osaka, who will face fellow 20-year-old Daria Kasatkina for the BNP Paribas Open title, is the lowest-ranked Indian Wells finalist in 13 years.


The 44th-ranked Osaka said reaching the final is both a lonely—and tasty—experience.


“It feels a little bit lonely, because there’s, like, nobody here,” Osaka told the media in Indian Wells. “As it goes on, there is less players and stuff. It’s kind of cool, but also a little bit, like, sad because then you’re not around the people that you talk to and stuff.


“But other than that, it’s cool. Because then, like, all the sushi, there is still a lot of sushi left and stuff.”


The final is an appetizing feast of varied styles pitting Kasatkina’s varied spins and speeds and court sense against Osaka’s prodigious power and shot-making.


Osaka, who opened the tournament dismantling Maria Sharapova, has looked sharp knocking off former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska and 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova.


Osaka forecasts fun for her first-ever clash vs. Kasatkina, who has won nine of her last 10 matches.


“Well, I feel like it’s going to be really interesting, because she kind of plays a completely different game than me, and I think we’re both in the final of this type of tournament for the first time,” Osaka said. “So it’s going to be fun, I think.”

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