"I just was not ready. I missed the ball a lot and I didn't play what I had to play," Halep said. "I don't find excuses. She was better. I just was not ready and played wrong." Youth prevailed Friday night as both unseeded Osaka and world No. 19 Kasatkina are 20 years old while the combined age of Williams and Halep is 63. "I feel like there is a new generation and we are trying to push through," said Osaka, who clinched the contest on the third match point.
.@Naomi_Osaka_ downs World No. 1 Halep, 6-3, 6-0!Will face Kasatkina in first Premier Mandatory final at @BNPPARIBASOPEN! #BNPPO18 pic.twitter.com/Of6djF3Pc2 — WTA (@WTA) March 17, 2018
Osaka improved to 14-4 in 2018 as she came into the clash as the lowest ranked Indian Wells semi-finalist since Kim Clijsters in 2005. "I was kind of nervous that entire (final) game because it kept going back and forth," Osaka said. "But I'm really glad I was able to finish on my serve instead of having to break her or something like that. Yeah, it felt good."
No. 1? No Problem.20-year-old Naomi Osaka is through to the BIGGEST final of her career after upsetting world No. 1 Simona Halep 6-3 6-0 in just 64 minutes.#BNPPO18 pic.twitter.com/Rte1tIYx39 — BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 17, 2018
"As my coach said, she's 37 years old, I am 20, so I should go for three sets," she said. Kasatkina fired one ace, hit five double faults and broke Williams's serve seven times in the entertaining match. Williams had almost double the number of unforced errors, 63-45, and broke Kasatkina six times but she also made five double faults -- some at crucial moments in the match. "Anyone who gets used to losses should give up on life," Williams said.
Our final: 20/20 vision.Two young stars of the future play for the #BNPPO18 ? on Sunday. Daria Kasatkina vs. Naomi Osaka. Both 20 years old. Both into the biggest final of their respective careers. pic.twitter.com/oLJo9uWpFU — BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 17, 2018