Naomi Osaka routed Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-2 to win the WTA event in Indian Wells and earn the first title of her career. Osaka wouldn't produce a tweener during her career-best week, but she did take out Kasatkina in the final-and not drop a set all tournament long.
In a match-up of 20-year-old rising stars, Osaka needed just 70 minutes to dispatch world No. 19 Kasatkina, who had an equally impressive showing in the desert. Daria Kasatkina put out US Open champion Sloane Stephens and world No 2 Caroline Wozniacki, thrashed world No 10 Angelique Kerber, and outlasted seven-time major victor Venus Williams. Kasatkina will rise eight spots to No. 11 in the rankings.
Osaka, whose path to the final included an opening-round win over former No. 1 Maria Sharapova, said the victory over Halep, her fourth top-10 victim, showed she was on the right path with her preparation. "I think we were both nervous at the beginning, because [this was our] biggest finals so far".
The daughter of a Japanese mother and Haitian father, Osaka was born in Japan before moving at age 3 with her family to the United States, where she is still based, training frequently at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla. Nonetheless, despite the one-sided scoreline, Kasatkina continued to give it her all and clinical backhands saw her holding her serve to stay in the match.
Naomi Osaka (JPN) as she defeated Daria Kasatkina (not pictured) in the women's finals in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
"I can not believe I won this tournament, beating Roger in a great final and level of tennis", said Del Potro, who almost quit the sport after four wrist surgeries in recent years. And she will get better with practice-and very soon.
Known for her shyness, she was definitely more at home on the court than accepting her first trophy.
Halep is seeking her second Indian Wells title after beating Jelena Jankovic in 2015.
The Indian Wells crowd laughed, and fell in love with Osaka just a little bit more. "I was just also just trying to pump myself up more, to get energy for me".
This title means that Osaka is the youngest champion since Ana Ivanovic, who won here back in 2008.
Power and aggression do play key roles in Osaka's armoury but it is controlled power and measured aggression.
She told reporters: "I was extremely stressed and extremely nervous". With Osaka serving for the match, and the biggest win over her career.
Osaka has impressed a lot this week with her mental fortitude throughout the tournament, but admitted that she had to keep a calm façade.
She moved to the U.S.as a 3-year-old and holds dual citizenship.
Del Potro became the first Argentine victor in the 42-year history of the desert tournament. Del Potro trails in their series 18-7.