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Indian Wells Surprises and Inspires

Well, the tournament at Indian Wells is over and the main talking point is Juan Martin Del Potro defeating Roger Federer in the men’s singles final on Sunday.

Federer had headed into the tournament as one of the favourites to claim the BNP Paribas Open title, but Del Potro had other ideas and he becomes the first player to beat the Swiss in 2018. Del Potro’s victory ends Federer’s stunning 17 games unbeaten run in what was a thrilling encounter.

Argentine Del Potro had lost to Federer in their last meeting in Basel last October but in their game, before that, the 29-year-old had recorded a great four-set win over Federer at the US Open the month prior. Del Potro headed into the final at Indian Wells like a man on a mission and even though Federer had broke first in the deciding final set it was Del Potro who came out victorious winning 6-4 5-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-2).

Del Potro

The story is the women’s singles final was just as fascinating as the men’s as the unseeded Naomi Osaka won her first WTA title after defeating 20th seed Daria Kasatkina. Osaka, the world number 44, took just over one hour to dispatch the Russian winning 6-3 6-2 in what had been a superb tournament for the Japanese world number one. Osake had only dropped one set throughout the whole of the BNP Paribas Open and her victory in the final means she is now the youngest champion at Indian Wells since Ana Ivanovic.

It has been a great tournament for both women and they were both very deserving of making the final after having to oust some top ranked players en route to the showdown. 20-year-old Osaka demolished world number one Simona Halep as she made her way to the final while Kasatkina defeated Venus Williams over three sets. It was Kasakina who started the better in the final before Osaka regained her composure and gained the decisive break which she then used to go on to secure the victory.

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Over in the doubles, John Isner and Jack Sock won the men’s after they beat Bob and Mike Bryan 7-4(4), 7-6(2) in the final. In the women’s doubles, top-ranked Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina were defeated 6-4, 6-4 by Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova in what proved to be another surprise in a very eventful tournament.

One of the main talking points of the whole competition should be the arrival of Naoimi Osaka. She was phenomenal throughout the tournament and demolished everyone in her path including world number one Simona Halep. It’s the biggest title win of her career, but this is surely only just the beginning.

Even though Federer lost in the final the 36-year-old is really setting the bar high in men’s tennis right now. He’ll have been disappointed to lose but he’s one of the most in-form players in the world and playing some of his best ever tennis, even though his career may soon be over.

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