Indian Wells - Russian Daria Kasatkina toppled her third top-10 player in a row
on Friday to reach the WTA Tour's Indian Wells final, shocking world number eight
Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
The 20-year-old Kasatkina rallied to
claim the biggest victory of her career and defeat seven-time Grand
Slam winner Williams, extending a year-long assault on top players,
Grand Slam winners and former world number ones.
Kasatkina, seeded 20th, next faces either world number one Simona Halep or Japan's Naomi Osaka in Sunday's final.
for the match, Kasatkina clinched the victory on her second match point
as she raced out to a 40-0 lead. Venus hit a cross-court forehand
winner on the first match point but then dumped a backhand into the net
to end the two hour, 49 minute marathon showdown.
young Russian proved to be too strong for the 37-year-old Williams, who
appeared to hit a wall at about the two and a half hour mark.
turning point came in the third set as Williams was left breathing
heavily on her chair after holding serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4
Williams, who was winning matches in Indian Wells before
Kasatkina was even born, has enjoyed a longevity in tennis that is
rarely achieved. But in the end she didn't have the legs to stay with
the rising Russian star, who won the final three games.
Kasatkina fired one ace, hit five double faults and broke Williams's serve seven times in the entertaining match.
hit more winners, 45-30, 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.
Kasatkina continues her Cinderella run through the California desert tournament as she goes for her second WTA title.
She highlighted 2017 by claiming her first crown in Charleston, beating fellow teenager Jelena Ostapenko in the final.
has beaten all four reigning Grand Slam champions in the past year,
including US Open champ Sloane Stephens twice. She did it for the second
time in Indian Wells, winning their third round match 6-4, 6-3.
eliminating Stephens she beat two top 10 players to get to the semis -
world number two Caroline Wozniacki in three sets in the fourth round
and then No. 10 Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the quarters.
running headlong into the Russian juggernaut it had been smooth sailing
for Williams into the semis as she did it without having to play
someone ranked in the top 20.
In the third round she defeated her
sister Serena, who had a protected ranking of 22 after she took 14
months off to have a baby.
Kasatkina is now 2-1 overall against Williams having beaten her the first time they play in Auckland in 2016.
really just make too many errors. That's pretty much all - I mean, I
have to stop making that many errors against her," Venus said.
Results on Friday from the 10th day of the ATP and WTA Indian Wells tournament
Milos Raonic (CAN x32) bt Sam Querrey (USA x18) 7-5, 2-6, 6-3
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x6) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x31) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Daria Kasatkina (RUS x20) bt Venus Williams (USA x8) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5