Elena Vesnina beats Svetlana Kuznetsova in Indian Wells final
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 20/03/17 10:42am
Elena Vesnina beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in a marathon final at Indian Wells on Sunday to claim the biggest singles title of her career.
The all-Russian final lasted a minute over three hours and Vesnina had to come from a set down before eventually prevailing 6-7 (6) 7-5 6-4.
Victory capped a fantastic run for the 30-year-old, who had defeated second seed Angelique Kerber and 12th seed Venus Williams earlier in the tournament.
But it was a disappointing end for Kuznetsova, who lost in the final for the third time, having previously been runner-up in 2007 and 2008.
Like the first two, the decisive set featured multiple service breaks.
It came down to a marathon ninth game, in which Kuznetsova saved four break points before Vesnina converted her fifth with a stinging service winner, to find herself serving for the match.
After knocking a forehand wide on her first match point, she then secured the victory when Kuznetsova's service return went long.
The victory continues Vesnina's rise over the last year. She reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2016 and is a regular in big doubles finals, winning Olympic gold in Rio alongside Ekaterina Makarova.
This was the third singles title of her career and she will move up to a new high of No 13 when the world rankings are updated on Monday.