INDIAN WELLS, Calif -- 30-year-old Elena Vesnina is through to her first Premier Mandatory final after a 6-3, 6-4 semifinal win over 23-year-old Kristina Mladenovic on Friday evening.
The 14th seed was able to avoid a letdown after her three-sets win over fan-favorite Venus Williams yesterday. She came out strong today, rushing the Frenchwoman, forcing her to commit errors. Vesnina won the first 5 games, going up 5-0 with three breaks in the pocket. However, Mladenovic wasn't ready to hand over the first set as she held in the sixth game and got one of the breaks back.
In the next game, the 28th seed was able to get another break back, closing the gap but that wasn't enough though as Vesnina was able to wrap up the set 6-3 with a hold.
The second set was similar to the first with the Russian breaking serve twice to go up 3-0. In the fourth game, Mladenovic recovered one of the breaks. Up 5-2, Vesnina served for the match. She went up 30-love, 2 points away from the match but Mladenovic won the next four points, retrieving one of the breaks. She held at love in the next game, consolidating the break.
Before serving for the match for the second time, Vesnina had a visit from her coach, who's also her father, during the changeover. Whatever coaching she received helped as she was able to close out the match right after the break.
The 14th seed awaits the winner of Karolina Pliskova and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
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