Venus and Halep knocked out at Indian Wells


Things did not improve much from there for the Romanian, who committed 27 unforced errors and looked some way off recapturing top form in her return from a foot injury that forced her to withdraw from last month's Qatar Open.

She also alluded to her age, which gave her the willpower to take Williams the distance and breaking her serve seven times in total.

Both born in 1997, both knocking out some huge names en route to the final, Osaka and Kasatkina are enjoying a statement week in the California desert and have one clear message to the world.

Youth prevailed on Friday night after unseeded Naomi Osaka and world No. 19 Daria Kasatkina of Russian Federation, both 20, reached the final at the expense of world No. 1 Simona Halep and Venus Williams.

"I'm a bit exhausted", Kasatkina said during an on-court interview after the match.

Two 20-year-olds will contest the final at the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Sunday after unseeded Naomi Osaka and No.20 seed Daria Kasatkina defeated their respective rivals in Friday's semifinals.

Kasatkina will have Saturday to recover before facing Osaka for the first time in their fledgling careers on Sunday.

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Daria Kasatkina upset Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a almost three-hour baseline struggle and Naomi Osaka routed top-ranked Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0 in 64 minutes on Friday night to set up a final between two 20-year-olds. I played okay until 4-3 but then I just went out.

The American's power briefly got the upper hand against the Russian's variety, though Kasatkina, penalized when the chair umpire incorrectly overruled on a point that could have given her a 15-40 lead, invented a gorgeous drop shot to gain a break point with Venus serving to seal the set.

In her seventh appearance in the tournament where she clinched the first Top 10 win, she equaled her best result, having reached the last 4 in 1998 (l. eventual champion Hingis) and 2001 (l. eventual champion S.Williams via w/o tendonitis).

But Kasatkina came back to tie the set.

"I'm really happy I got to the finals, but for me it's not over until I win or, like, the day is over".

While Osaka barely broke a sweat in her 64-minute victory, it was a different story for Kasatkina, who emerged the victor after a marathon battle against Williams. "She 37, you're 20" he remembered to spur her player to react.

Such pressure put the Russian on the ropes and helped the former No.1 to break back to 3-3.

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Kasatkina has won 79.4% of her service games, the most of any player left in the tournament and up on her season average of 65.2%.

Williams served a love game to go up 5-4. He asked Kasatkina to shorten the points and use more consistently her spin to make the ball bounce higher towards Venus's forehand, to make it harder for her to attack and gain more time in dictating the rallies.

Halep had three double faults.

Daria Kasatkina (20), Russia, def. Venus Williams (8), United States, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Her coach, Philippe Dehaes, reminded her during the match of the age difference between Kasatkina and Williams.

As the match wore on, Williams compensated for her poor serves by attacking the net frequently.

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