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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Talented youngsters could produce a close encounter

Japanese and Russian aces could serve up a thriller

Naomi Osaka has dropped only one set on her way to the final
1 of 1

Women's final
BT Sport 2, 6pm Sunday

Some new names are coming to the fore in the women's game and that has been the case in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in the past week and a half.

The final two standing are 80-1 chance Daria Kasatkina and 125-1 shot Naomi Osaka. Anyone who has backed either or both women will already be delighted with themselves, especially those who chose this tournament to support Osaka, who is contesting her first important final.

Kasatkina reached the Dubai Championship final last month, when she was soundly beaten 6-4 6-0 by Elina Svitolina in the final.

There has been money for Osaka to upstage Kasatkina in the Californian decider. But while the Japanese ace has been seeing off her opponents in superb fashion at the Tennis Garden, Kasatkina is a battler and this one could go down to the wire.

Top seed Simona Halep was dismissed 6-3 6-0 by Osaka in the last four but the unseeded American resident needed three sets to oust Maria Sakkari earlier in the tournament so there is hope for Kasatkina.

The Russian did well to edge out Venus Williams 4-6 6-4 7-5 in their semi-final and that triumph should give Kasatkina confidence that she can go on to even bigger things.

A three-set final is an 11-8 chance and that could be the best bet.

Three-set final
1pt 11-8 bet365, Sky Bet

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Osaka needed three sets to oust Maria Sakkari earlier in the tournament so there is hope for Kasatkina
E.W. Terms
Sky bet