"I was just also just trying to pump myself up more, to get energy for me".
"This was my first breakout tournament when I was 16 so to come back and get closer to hopefully a title, it's like a dream come true", said Venus, who was taught the game by her father on the courts of Compton, California. "I don't find excuses". I really feel like I have another match I have to play tomorrow, and it didn't really sink in that I won.
Youth prevailed Friday night as both unseeded Osaka and world No. 19 Kasatkina are 20 years old while the combined age of Williams and Halep is 63. Her victory over US Open champion Sloane Stephens at Indian Wells came after she overcame French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko at the US Open, Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki at both St Petersburg and Indian Wells and Wimbledon victor Garbiñe Muguruza in Dubai. While Kasatkina might have a slight edge over Osaka, anything can happen in the finals.
"[Venus] was playing really good, honestly". As much as Kasatkina has joked that her head is empty when she players, she probably has the best tactical mind of her generation.
Osaka, whose path to the final included an opening-round win over former No. 1 Maria Sharapova, said the victory over Halep, her fourth top-10 victim, showed she was on the right path with her preparation.
Kasatkina will face Naomi Osaka, a 20-year-old from Japan, in the final.
Osaka said after her win against Halep: "I kind of feel the same as she (Kasatkina) said".
"Too many emotions and you can not, like, explain everything".
With the win, Kasatkina, who won her first title at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston a year ago, made it to her first-ever Indian Wells final.
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.
Asked if she was exhausted, Williams said, "She just played better at the end".
Ultimately the young Russian proved to be too strong for Williams, who appeared to hit a wall at about the two and a half hour mark. Hitting her spots, forehands, even the backhands.
Williams had nearly double the number of unforced errors, 63-45, and broke Kasatkina six times but she also made five double faults - some at crucial moments in the match. But will it be the impressive retrieving skills of Kasatkina or the power of Osaka that triumphs?
Friday's victory puts her in the final of a tournament considered to be just below the four Grand Slams.
Despite her opponent's experience - and top five seeding - Osaka quickly built a 4-1 lead in the first set, winning 92% of points on her first serve.