Elena Vesnina beat fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-7(6) 7-5 6-4, in the final of the BNP Paribas Open 2017 over the weekend. This is seen as Vesnina’s biggest win in her career.
The match took longer than three hours with a hot temperature at Indian Wells, California. Vesnina clinched the title on a second championship point. The win brought the Russian to a career-high World No. 13 in the WTA Tour rankings.
Vesnina playing relax on the way to the title
“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 stated. “I was trying to get rest. My dad (and coach Sergey) said ‘come to the net, put pressure on her’ and it worked.”
Vesnina is a 3-time Grand Slam champion but only in the Women’s Doubles category. In the singles competition, she was able to reach the semifinals of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships. Vesnina also won the gold medal in the doubles competition of the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.
Vesnina, who was seeded just 14th in this tournament, was so happy with her win last Sunday that she collapsed after clinching the championship point. She hugged her compatriot at the net after her celebration.
This was Kuznetsova’s third appearance in the BNP Paribas Open championship round. She still could not get the win at Indian Wells and has now the reputation of coming up short in the championship matches.
“I cannot believe to be honest, to win such a big title against such a great player,” Vesnina added. “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.”
Resurgent Russian back on track
Last year, Vesnina struggled with her play and dropped to World No. 122 in the women’s rankings. But she is having a resurgent career so far starting in late 2016 and earlier this year.
In 2017, Vesnina once again campaigned both in the singles and doubles competition. She reached the third round of the 2017 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia. Vesnina, along with partner Ekaterina Makarova, won her first title of the year in the doubles of the 2017 Dubai Tennis Championships.
Vesnina’s singles win breakthrough in Indian Wells, California is seen as a breakout performance. She has been successful in doubles but is now a major threat in the women’s singles competition of the WTA tour.