Elena Vesnina won the third and biggest title in her career by defeating fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in a marathon final of the 2017 BNP Paribas Open.
The 14th-seeded Vesnina was twice a consolidated break up in the first set, at 2-0 and 4-2, but both times the eighth-seeded Kuznetsova fought back. From 4-all, both players successfully battled for their service games and the set proceeded to a tiebreak, which was just as close as the rest of the set. Kuznetsova wasted two set points at 6-4, making the outcome totally unexpected, but she finished the job with the next two points. Both Russians had excellent stats in the first set, with Kuznetsova boasting a +12 winners-to-unforced-errors differential and Vesnina having +7.
Kuznetsova, playing her third Indian Wells final, opened the second set with a 2-0 lead, and even though Vesnina broke her serve to love in the third game, Kuznetsova went ahead 4-1. But it was far from over. Vesnina revived her aggressiveness and leveled the set to 4-all. After another exchange of breaks, Vesnina broke Kuznetsova again and then held serve to force the decider.
In the third set, Vesnina worked her way up from 2-4 down to 6-4, winning the match in three hours and one minute, 6-7(6) 7-5 6-4.
Vesnina has won the Indian Wells doubles title three times, but in singles this is her groundbreaking result, as last year she exited the tournament in the first round of qualifying! As a result, the 30-year-old Russian will move to a career-high ranking of No.13.
Rocking the electo green Nike Spring Premier Slam Tank and the Nike Spring Print Power Spin Skirt, earlier at the tournament Vesnina had also recorded notable victories over soon-to-be-number-one Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams.
As you probably know, our photographer Jimmie48 was in Indian Wells all the way from qualifying until the fourth-round action, so check out our rich galleries below:
- Tuesday: Vesnina upsets future No.1 Kerber, quarterfinal field completed
- Monday: Kerber survives tough test, Radwanska & Halep crash out
- Sunday: Players battle in the desert heat
- Saturday: Madison Keys returns to the Tour
- Friday: Second-round drama
- Thursday: Completion of the first round
- Wednesday: First-round action begins in the desert
- Tuesday: Qualifying action completes, the main draw is set
- Monday: Qualifying kicks off
- Sunday: Warming up for the tournament
It was really hard work that made Lena win this tournament. I really like her as a doubles player but I’m also liking her more now as a serious singles player. She’s becoming a contender now for bigger titles.