INDIAN WELLS, Cailf -- In an all-Russian women's final of the BNP Paribas Open, Elena Vesnina walked away a champion over No. 8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, winning her first Premier Mandatory title.
Vesnina was the first to strike, going up 2-0. The No. 8 seed broke back right away. Vesnina broke again to go up 4-2. At 5-4 serving for the first set, Kuznetsova fended off a set point, leveling the set 5-5.
The set was sent to the tiebreak, where Kuznetsova wrapped the set on the third set point.
Down 4-1 in the second set, Vesnina broke back in the seventh game and consolidated the break to level the set. She got another break to go up 5-4 but failed to close the set when she served for it the first time as Kuznetsova broke back to even set 5-5.
Vesnina broke again in the 11th game to go up 6-5, and this time was able to wrap up the set 7-5, leveling the match.
In the third, Kuznetsova jumped to a lead when she broke in the sixth game to go up 4-1 but Vesnina broke back right away after her own hold to put it back on serve. Vesnina broke again in the ninth game to give herself an opportunity to serve for the match. She took the match 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4.
"I've always loved Indian Wells but I love it even more now," said the jubilant Vesnina.
Kuznetsova felt she had the match in her racquet but did not close the deal.
"I lost a match which I should have win," said a dejected Kuznetsova. "But, you know, this is tennis. This is game. Nobody died, so I move on, and I'm on a good way. I'm playing better. I'm winning lots of matches in a good way, in two sets. I'm really positive.
"Definitely I'm really frustrated with that loss, but I will go above that, hopefully, and will be all right," said Kuznetsova.