Enjoy a look back at the biggest upsets of the season, starting at No. 10 and counting all the way down to the top stunner of the year.
Naomi Osaka, the 2016 WTA Newcomer of the Year, was unable to build upon that momentum the following season. However, she showed signs of resurgence early in 2018 by reaching the Round of 16 at the Australian Open, where world No. 1 Simona Halep stopped her charge.
The two would soon meet again in uncharted territory for Osaka: the semifinals of the Premier Mandatory tournament in Indian Wells.
For the 19-year-old, everything had been clicking over the course of the tournament. In the first round, she beat five-time Grand Slam champion and followed that with a win over former world No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska. In the quarterfinals, Osaka defeated Karolina Pliskova, the No. 5 seed in straight sets. In fact the only player to win a set against her up to this point was Maria Sakkari of Greece in the fourth round.
The two started off on even ground through the first six games, but Osaka was able to take control through points like this.
She would go on to win nine games on the trot to clinch the match by a 6-3, 6-0 scoreline and make her second career final. Defeating Daria Kasatkina in the championship match, Osaka proved that she’d be a force to reckon with on the hard courts—a fact she backed up in New York several months later.
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