Vesnina tops Kuznetsova in marathon Indian Wells final
Elena Vesnina v Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7(6) 7-5 6-4

Vesnina tops Kuznetsova in marathon Indian Wells final

Elena Vesnina survived a battle of attrition to beat fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7(6) 7-5 6-4 in the women's final at the BNP Paribas Open in the California desert on Sunday.

After more than three hours in the scorching midday sun on the Indian Wells hard court, Vesnina finally clinched victory on her second championship point when eighth seed Kuznetsova sent a service return long.

After more than three hours in the scorching midday sun on the Indian Wells hard court, Vesnina finally clinched victory on her second championship point when eighth seed Kuznetsova sent a service return long.

The win marked by far the biggest title of Vesnina's career and will boost the 30-year-old to 13th in the world rankings, surpassing her current career-high of 15th reached last month.

Vesnina stared defeat in the face, down 4-1 in the second set before reeling off four consecutive games after starting to play more aggressive in an effort to keep the points short and conserve energy.

"I was playing a bit more free when I was down in the score and I think Svetlana got a bit tight on some moment and I saw that and I just took my chances," Vesnina, whose previous WTA titles came at Eastbourne and Hobart in 2013, said in a courtside interview.

"I was trying to get rest. My dad (and coach Sergey) said 'come to the net, put pressure on her' and it worked."

The 14th seed collapsed to the court with a mixture of ecstasy and exhaustion before the combatants hugged at the net.

Neither player served particularly well. There were 16 breaks in the 34 games and Vesnina dropped serve seven times, but that was better than her opponent, and proved to be the difference.

For Kuznetsova, who was making her third appearance in the Indian Wells final and first since 2008, the result will leave a bitter taste as she was seeking to shed her reputation as player who struggles to close the deal in big matches.

Vesnina, on the other hand, was overjoyed.

"I cannot believe to be honest, to win such a big title against such a great player," Vesnina said.

"I was down a set and 4-1. It seems like it was so far away this title, and now I won it I’m so happy."

Betting on TENNIS? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more

Related news

Dominic Thiem eases pasts Bernard Tomic in straight sets

Dominic Thiem eases pasts Bernard Tomic in straight sets

Dominic Thiem got his French Open campaign off to a terrific start as he eased past Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-0 6-2.

Petra Kvitova marks comeback with win

Petra Kvitova marks comeback with win

Petra Kvitova marked her comeback from her stabbing by defeating Julie Boserup 6-3, 6-2 plus the rest of the action from the first day of the women's draw at the French Open.

Top seed Angelique Kerber stunned by Ekatarina Makarova in first round

Top seed Angelique Kerber stunned by Ekatarina Makarova in first round

World number one Angelique Kerber's nightmare season hit a new low on Sunday when she was dumped out of the French Open 6-2 6-2 by 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova.

Andy Murray avoids Rafael Nadal in men's draw

Andy Murray avoids Rafael Nadal in men's draw

Top seed Andy Murray has avoided Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in his side of the French Open draw, it was announced on Friday, although his route to the final is tricky nonetheless.

French Open 2017 live stream: How to watch and bet on the second Grand Slam of the year

French Open 2017 live stream: How to watch and bet on the second Grand Slam of the year

With the 2017 French Open running from the 28th of May to the 10th of June, bet365 will be streaming the tournament live online through the In-Play section of the website.

Novak Djokovic confirms Andre Agassi will be new coach

Novak Djokovic confirms Andre Agassi will be new coach

World number two Novak Djokovic has confirmed that former world number one Amdre Agassi will be his new coach.

Alexander Zverev completes shock win over Novak Djokovic in Rome

Alexander Zverev completes shock win over Novak Djokovic in Rome

Alexander Zverev completed a shock 6-4 6-3 win over world number two Novak Djokovic in the final of the Italian Open in Rome.

Elina Svitolina wins Italian Open to claim fourth WTA Tour title of year

Elina Svitolina wins Italian Open to claim fourth WTA Tour title of year

Elina Svitolina completed a stunning comeback to win the Italian Open and claim a WTA Tour-leading fourth title of the year.

Novak Djokovic storms past Dominic Thiem into Rome final

Novak Djokovic storms past Dominic Thiem into Rome final

Novak Djokovic stormed past Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-0 to reach the final of the ATP Masters in Rome.

RELATED NEWS

Dominic Thiem eases pasts Bernard Tomic in straight sets
Dominic Thiem v Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-0 6-2

Dominic Thiem eases pasts Bernard Tomic in straight sets

Dominic Thiem got his French Open campaign off to a terrific start as he eased past Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-0 6-2.

Petra Kvitova marks comeback with win
Petra Kvitova v Julie Boserup 6-3, 6-2

Petra Kvitova marks comeback with win

Petra Kvitova marked her comeback from her stabbing by defeating Julie Boserup 6-3, 6-2 plus the rest of the action from the first day of the women's draw at the French Open.

Top seed Angelique Kerber stunned by Ekatarina Makarova in first round
Ekatarina Makarova v Angelique Kerber 6-2 6-2

Top seed Angelique Kerber stunned by Ekatarina Makarova in first round

World number one Angelique Kerber's nightmare season hit a new low on Sunday when she was dumped out of the French Open 6-2 6-2 by 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova.

Andy Murray avoids Rafael Nadal in men's draw
French Open 2017

Andy Murray avoids Rafael Nadal in men's draw

Top seed Andy Murray has avoided Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in his side of the French Open draw, it was announced on Friday, although his route to the final is tricky nonetheless.

French Open 2017 live stream: How to watch and bet on the second Grand Slam of the year
French Open live streaming

French Open 2017 live stream: How to watch and bet on the second Grand Slam of the year

With the 2017 French Open running from the 28th of May to the 10th of June, bet365 will be streaming the tournament live online through the In-Play section of the website.

Novak Djokovic confirms Andre Agassi will be new coach
Novak Djokovic news

Novak Djokovic confirms Andre Agassi will be new coach

World number two Novak Djokovic has confirmed that former world number one Amdre Agassi will be his new coach.

Alexander Zverev completes shock win over Novak Djokovic in Rome
Alexander Zverev v Novak Djokovic

Alexander Zverev completes shock win over Novak Djokovic in Rome

Alexander Zverev completed a shock 6-4 6-3 win over world number two Novak Djokovic in the final of the Italian Open in Rome.

Elina Svitolina wins Italian Open to claim fourth WTA Tour title of year
Elina Svitolina v Simona Halep 4-6 7-5 6-1

Elina Svitolina wins Italian Open to claim fourth WTA Tour title of year

Elina Svitolina completed a stunning comeback to win the Italian Open and claim a WTA Tour-leading fourth title of the year.

Novak Djokovic storms past Dominic Thiem into Rome final
Novak Djokovic v Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-0

Novak Djokovic storms past Dominic Thiem into Rome final

Novak Djokovic stormed past Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-0 to reach the final of the ATP Masters in Rome.