California: American tennis star Venus Williams suffered a major blow as she bowed out of the Indian Wells Masters after going down against Daria Kasatkina of Russia in a three-set thriller of semi-final clash here on Saturday.
Kasatkina’s continued her stunning run at Indian Wells, as the 20-year-old survived a scare against eighth-seed Venus to eventually clinch 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win in a clash that lasted under three hours.
Following the win, Kasatkina admitted that it was a really tough match, but she is happy to play against Venus in the semifinals of one of the biggest tournaments.
“[Venus] was playing really good, honestly. It was really tough match, yeah. I must, like, give her respect, because she’s playing amazing, really,” the WTA quoted the 20th seed, as saying.
“And to play Venus Williams on center court in the United States, in the semifinals, one of the biggest tournaments, you just put your heart there, and that’s it,” she added.
With the win, Kasatkina, who won her first title at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston last year, made it to her first-ever Indian Wells final.
She will now square off with Naomi Osaka of Japan, who stunned top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania in the second semifinal 6-3, 6-0, for a place in the summit showdown.
Venus, who was trying to reach the final for the first time in seven appearances in the desert, won her first four matches at Indian Wells in straight sets, including a 6-3, 6-4 victory over younger sister Serena in the third round.