Vesnina beats Kuznetsova in 3 sets to win Indian Wells title

  • Vesnina beats Kuznetsova in 3 sets to win Indian Wells title

Vesnina beats Kuznetsova in 3 sets to win Indian Wells title

A year later, she completed a dream week in which she vanquished world No. 2 Angelique Kerber, Australian Open finalist Venus Williams, St. Peterburg champion Kristina Mladenovic and Kuznetsova in an inspired run that will spike her ranking to a career-high No. 13 tomorrow.

Eighth seed Kuznetsova edged a marathon first set lasting 71 minutes by winning a tie-break at Indian Wells.

She withstood 10 aces from Pliskova, who has already won titles at Brisbane and Doha this year.

No. 15 Vesnina has won three doubles titles here at Indian Wells, though this will be the biggest stage she's played on in singles. This tournament is one of the best tournaments in the year and maybe one of the tougher because all the people is playing here. Kuznetsova soared ahead to a 6-2 lead, but Pliskova saved four set points - including a Kuznetsova double fault - but a pinpoint accurate down-the-line passing shot finally gave the Russian the set. Both players have shown their fighting qualities this week, and have played tremendous tennis but Kuznetsova's experience of playing in big finals in big stadia will play a part and should get her over the line. 6-1 3-6 7-6.

Vesnina built commanding leads in each set - 5-0 in the first and 5-1 in the second and Mladenovic, who claimed a maiden WTA title in St. Petersburg last month before reaching the final in Acapulco, couldn't find an answer. "Now I love it even more", she said.

"I was very focused". "I hope I can enjoy it and hope I can show the best tennis as well in the final".

Like Kuznetsova, Vesnina has faced four fellow seeded opponents on her way through to the biggest singles final of her career.

"I felt great. I felt like I was just giving all I had in me there, and that's what I work for, you know, the moments that really matter". "She didn't really allow me to put my game on tonight".

Vesnina dominated again at the start of the second set, breaking Mladenovic's first two service games in building a 5-1 lead.

"Kiki was always trying to play her best tennis when she was behind on the score", Vesnina said.

That would figure to be an easy task on the surface since Wawrinka is 2-0 all-time against the Spaniard, but Carreno Busta is coming off a strong showing against Pablo Cuevas in the quarterfinals that should have his confidence surging.

The two-time Grand Slam champion tightened up double-faulting on the first and looping a forehand long on the second. On the other hand, the 14th seed is a good finesse player, and her weight of shots and variety could pose Kuznetsova some problems.