No fear, both ladies going into what would be the biggest finals of their respective careers to date showed no fear in getting there. Both ladies deserve a hell of a lot of respect for what they have done over the last few months.
Both are young, driven, committed and fearless as they 100% believe in what they are doing but it hasn’t always been the case. They have matured a lot over the last 6 months. I watched Osaka a year ago in Melbourne and she just lost concentration and belief when it wasn’t going her way and with Kasatkina performances have been a bit hit and miss but since her withdrawal from Qatar where she played an odd match she has turned on the style starting with a win against Muguruza despite being a set and a break down and saving three match points turned it around for the win.
This week saw Kasatkina defeat Venus and Kerber and Osaka saw off Pliskova and Venus!
As expected nerves were there from both to begin for just a couple of minutes exchanging breaks of serve. Both began to settle and find their rhythm looking fearless until
score-board pressure sunk in with Kasatkina losing that belief she has had all week! It was weird to see, the forehand began to leak errors and serve wouldn’t stand up for her whilst Osaka down the other end was re-directing the backhand perfectly and from 4-3 closed out the set 6-3.
The period of domination did not stop there with the youngster taking a 3-1 lead in set two and before you know a forehand down the line secured a 4-1 lead as the Japanese star looked on route to her first career title having being 0-1 in WTA Finals and 0-4 in Challenger Finals!
The head of Kasatkina continued to shake and at a point where she needed to react she didn’t with Osaka holding to love and one game from winning Indian Wells.
It continued to get messy for the Russian who hit a smash long but a backhand down the line secured the game for Kasatkina asking the serve it out question of Osaka. Question asked, test past, title won!