Tennis: Vesnina beats Kuznetsova to win Indian Wells WTA title
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Tennis: Vesnina beats Kuznetsova to win Indian Wells WTA title

INDIAN WELLS (AFP) - Elena Vesnina capped a stellar Indian Wells campaign with a hard-fought 6-7 (6/8), 7-5, 6-4 triumph over fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova on Sunday.Playing in her first final at the elite Premier Mandatory level, world number 15 Vesnina battled through a tense three hours and one minute to subdue eighth-ranked Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam champion.The triumph comes a year after Vesnina, 30, fell in the first round of qualifying at Indian Wells and capped a tournament that saw her down both Germanys soon-to-be number one Angelique Kerber and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams.For Kuznetsova, it was a third disappointment in as many finals at Indian Wells, this one coming a decade after she fell in back to back finals in 2007 and 2008.A third set that, like the first two, featured multiple service breaks saw Kuznetsova take a 4-2 lead before Vesnina broke for 4-3 then won 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 secured the victory when Kuznetsovas service return went long.She was up set and 4-1, then 4-2 in the third, Vesnina said. She had so many break points on my serve. She was 30-Love up couple of times on her serves. And I always keep coming back. I stick there, you know.I was just not giving anything at that moment. I didnt think about the end of the match.And when I broke her at 4-All and went to serve for the match, I had this in my mind: Im not going to give it. I went to serve and I was, like, Im never going to lose this game.For a time it seemed Kuznetsovas steadier play would win the day, but in the end it was Vesninas aggression that paid off, even though her 49 unforced errors out-stripped her 46 winners.I felt like when I was playing, I didnt feel good today, because she was very aggressive, and I was a little bit out of my game, Kuznetsova said. I was too far from the court

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