Naomi Osaka won the 2018 BNP Paribas Open with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Daria Kasatkina in Sunday’s final. This was Naomi’s first WTA title and a hugeee one at that. It is somewhat reminiscent of Jelena Ostapenko who won her first title last year at Roland Garros. The final was a bit of a letdown in terms of a contest as Kasatkina just couldn’t find the game that had shone through the two weeks in the desert.
Kasatkina’s forehand broke down at the end of the first set and the normally precise drop shots just didn’t work. Kasatkina’s movement wasn’t as sharp as in her previous matches. I thought Dasha would be able to rebound after her semi-final win over Venus Williams but in hindsight, I guess that match was a tough one to get over, both physically and mentally. Tennis is such a brutal sport. Nothing takes away what was a tremendous two weeks for Dasha. I hope that she can forget about this one and remember everything that she achieved. Onwards and upwards!
All the credit to Osaka who handled the occasion better and played another fine match. Osaka handled Kasatkina’s game remarkably well. The Japanese player looked very secure behind her backhand. Similar to her semi-final match against Simona Halep, Osaka saved a break point at 3-3, and in style with a gorgeous ace. As i’ve said many times, I genuinely look forward to watching Naomi play tennis. The improvement this year, most notably in building the points and being more patient, has been rapid and her rise to relevance is great for the game. I have absolutely no doubt that Naomi will win a Slam in the future.
The match didn’t quite live up to my expectation. The trophy ceremony certainly did! Naomi classed her speech as the “worst acceptance speech of all time” 😂. I found it to be so, so endearing. I’ve never thought of it before but it made me think what a daunting task it must be to make a speech in front of all those people. Personally, I don’t think I could do it!
Indian Wells has been great and I can’t ever remember enjoying the tournament as much as this year’s edition. I’m really enjoying the tennis and getting a better balance with the blog too.That being said, I’m definitely not ready for Miami yet. Main draw starts on TUESDAY!!!!