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

19/03/2017

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."

Related news

Nadal wins record 11th title in Monaco

Nadal wins record 11th title in Monaco

Rafael Nadal maintained his world number one status with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 victory over Kei Nishkori in the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters, a record 11th title in Monaco for the Spaniard.

Nadal cruises into Monte Carlo final

Nadal cruises into Monte Carlo final

Defending champion Rafa Nadal remains on course for an 11th Monte Carlo Masters title after beating Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-1 in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Rafa Nadal crushes Dominic Thiem to set up Grigor Dimitrov clash in semi-finals

Rafa Nadal crushes Dominic Thiem to set up Grigor Dimitrov clash in semi-finals

World number one Rafa Nadal reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday as he hammered Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2.

Novak Djokovic bows out in Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal progresses

Novak Djokovic bows out in Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal progresses

Novak Djokovic missed out on a Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final with Rafael Nadal after falling to Dominic Thiem in the third round.

Rafael Nadal strolls past Aljaz Bedene in Monte Carlo, Novak Djokovic passes Borna Coric test

Rafael Nadal strolls past Aljaz Bedene in Monte Carlo, Novak Djokovic passes Borna Coric test

World number one Rafa Nadal launched his bid for an 11th Monte Carlo Masters title with a 6-1 6-3 second-round victory over Slovenia's Alijaz Bedene as Novak Djokovic overcame a late wobble to see off Borna Coric on Wednesday.

Dominic Thiem saves match point in win over Andrey Rublev, Kyle Edmund crashes out

Dominic Thiem saves match point in win over Andrey Rublev, Kyle Edmund crashes out

Fifth seed Dominic Thiem saved a match point in completing a 5-7 7-5 7-5 win over Andrey Rublev in the Monte-Carlo Masters second round on Tuesday.

Dominant Novak Djokovic races past Dusan Lajovic in Monte Carlo

Dominant Novak Djokovic races past Dusan Lajovic in Monte Carlo

Former world number one Novak Djokovic showed signs of rediscovering his form with a dominant 6-0 6-1 victory over Dusan Lajovic in the opening round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.

John Isner outlasts Alexander Zverev for first Miami title

John Isner outlasts Alexander Zverev for first Miami title

John Isner found new energy and outlasted Germany's Alexander Zverev 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 at the Miami Open on Sunday for the biggest title of his career.

Sloane Stephens sees off Jelena Ostapenko to win Miami title

Sloane Stephens sees off Jelena Ostapenko to win Miami title

American Sloane Stephens kept intact her streak of never having lost a final as she defeated Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko 7-6(5) 6-1 to claim the Miami Open title on Saturday.

RELATED NEWS

Nadal wins record 11th title in Monaco
Rafael Nadal v Kei Nishkori 6-3 6-2

Nadal wins record 11th title in Monaco

Rafael Nadal maintained his world number one status with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 victory over Kei Nishkori in the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters, a record 11th title in Monaco for the Spaniard.

Nadal cruises into Monte Carlo final
Rafa Nadal v Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-1

Nadal cruises into Monte Carlo final

Defending champion Rafa Nadal remains on course for an 11th Monte Carlo Masters title after beating Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-1 in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Rafa Nadal crushes Dominic Thiem to set up Grigor Dimitrov clash in semi-finals
Rafa Nadal v Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2

Rafa Nadal crushes Dominic Thiem to set up Grigor Dimitrov clash in semi-finals

World number one Rafa Nadal reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday as he hammered Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2.

Novak Djokovic bows out in Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal progresses
Dominic Thiem v Novak Djokovic 6-7(2) 6-2 6-3

Novak Djokovic bows out in Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal progresses

Novak Djokovic missed out on a Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final with Rafael Nadal after falling to Dominic Thiem in the third round.

Rafael Nadal strolls past Aljaz Bedene in Monte Carlo, Novak Djokovic passes Borna Coric test
Rafael Nadal v Aljaz Bedene 6-1, 6-3

Rafael Nadal strolls past Aljaz Bedene in Monte Carlo, Novak Djokovic passes Borna Coric test

World number one Rafa Nadal launched his bid for an 11th Monte Carlo Masters title with a 6-1 6-3 second-round victory over Slovenia's Alijaz Bedene as Novak Djokovic overcame a late wobble to see off Borna Coric on Wednesday.

Dominic Thiem saves match point in win over Andrey Rublev, Kyle Edmund crashes out
Dominic Thiem v Andrey Rublev 5-7 7-5 7-5

Dominic Thiem saves match point in win over Andrey Rublev, Kyle Edmund crashes out

Fifth seed Dominic Thiem saved a match point in completing a 5-7 7-5 7-5 win over Andrey Rublev in the Monte-Carlo Masters second round on Tuesday.

Dominant Novak Djokovic races past Dusan Lajovic in Monte Carlo
Novak Djokovic v Dusan Lajovic 6-0 6-1

Dominant Novak Djokovic races past Dusan Lajovic in Monte Carlo

Former world number one Novak Djokovic showed signs of rediscovering his form with a dominant 6-0 6-1 victory over Dusan Lajovic in the opening round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.

John Isner outlasts Alexander Zverev for first Miami title
John Isner v Alexander Zverev 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4

John Isner outlasts Alexander Zverev for first Miami title

John Isner found new energy and outlasted Germany's Alexander Zverev 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 at the Miami Open on Sunday for the biggest title of his career.

Sloane Stephens sees off Jelena Ostapenko to win Miami title
Sloane Stephens v Jelena Ostapenko 7-6(5) 6-1

Sloane Stephens sees off Jelena Ostapenko to win Miami title

American Sloane Stephens kept intact her streak of never having lost a final as she defeated Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko 7-6(5) 6-1 to claim the Miami Open title on Saturday.