Naomi Osaka routed Daria Kasatkina of Russian Federation 6-3, 6-2 to win the BNP Paribas Open in a matchup of 20-year-old rising stars and earn the first title of her career.
The world No. 19 Kasatkina also had a run to remember in Indian Wells this year, beating Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams consecutively, all top 20 foes and all Grand Slam champions.
Less than a couple of hours later, an unseeded 20-year-old Naomi Osaka shocked world No. 1 Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0 also booking herself a spot in a maiden final at this level.
"I have become more mature, I am more confident on the court, and even in hard situations I can find a way to keep going", Kasatkina said. Kasatkina's backhand is arguably her best shot, particularly her slice. "I was so nervous, that I really forgot", she said.
That is not to say that Osaka does not move well and has shifted her game style from being a powerful counter-puncher to a more aggressive baseliner. I played okay until 4-3 but then I just went out.
Both of the Indian Wells finalists are under the age of 21 - for the first time since 2001, when Serena Williams beat Kim Clijsters.
Osaka will look to dominate this match using her forehand.
Neither Kasatkina nor Osaka have much experience in big matches, with the latter's only career final coming in Tokyo in 2016.
Osaka's coach told her not to worry about what Kasatkina was doing.
Sweden says happy to help on N.Korea, amid summit speculation
With the win, Kasatkina, who won her first title at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston previous year, made it to her first-ever Indian Wells final.
"I feel like there is a new generation and we are trying to push through", said the Japanese. She defeated No 31 Agnieszka Radwanska and No 5 Karolina Pliskova on her way to the final, dropping just one set in six matches.
They soon looked more assured, but the 20th seed gifted Osaka the opportunity to serve for opening set with a poor service game, which her opponent won with a rasping backhand victor.
Kasatkina has yet to play Osaka at a WTA event, but she will have taken special note of the way the 20-year-old Japanese player set about seeing off Halep.
"A bit exhausted", Kasatkina said during her on-court interview after the match.
The 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 lead.
Kasatkina is now 1-3 in WTA singles finals, winning in Charleston last year and finishing runner-up last year in Moscow and this year at Dubai.
Next up for Federer is Borna Coric of Croatia, who upset No. 7 seed Kevin Anderson 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) for his first win in four tries against the South African.
Kasatkina, who wasn't even born when Williams first competed at Indian Wells, said she really felt the nerves getting to her on the big stage in the final.