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An All-Russian Final

An All-Russian Final

The womenŠ—Ès Indian Wells title will be fought out by two Russians in what is a surprising final round in the Californian desert.

. I was in the final nine years ago, so it is nice to be here again

Svertlana Kuznetsova, 31, is continuing to surprise by recapturing the sort of form that saw her lift two grand slam titles, the second eight years ago, to reach the championship round for the first time since 2007 and 2008.

She will face Elena Vesnina, 30, who is better known for her doubles play but is now carving a name for herself in the singles rankings making her way into a WTA Š—…Mandatory EventŠ—È for the first time. Not bad for a player who lost in te first round of qualifying 12 months ago!

Kuznetsova squeezed past the in-form player from the Czech Republic, Karolina Pliskova 7-6(5) 7-6(2) while Vesnina proved much too powerful for FranceŠ—Ès Kristina Mladenovic, routing her 6-3 6-4.

Kuznetsova admitted it had been close. "I tried my best to fight every point," she said "Karolina is one of the best players this year. She played so well and I had to put in a performance. I was in the final nine years ago, so it is nice to be here again."

Vesnina, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year who has reached a career high of 15th in the world said important doubles wins – including a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics – had helped her big-match composure.

"It’s not easy to hold your nerve," she said. "But I’m really happy the way I handled it. I was very focused. I was not thinking about the final. I was just thinking particularly about every single game, every single shot."

"I really think she was just too good for me today," Mladenovic admitted Š—– she was 5-0 and 5-1 down in each set respectively. "I felt like I had to do kind of crazy points to win. She didn’t really allow me to put my game on tonight."

About The Author

Henry Wancke

Henry Wancke is one of the most respected Tennis writers in the UK. Henry is the Editor of both Tennis Threads Magazine and tennisthreads.net. He previously worked as Editor of Tennis World, Serve & Volley as well as Tennis Today magazines and been stringer for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Press Association. He also co-authored the Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Tennis with John Parsons published by Carlton, and the Federation Cup – the first 32 years, published by the ITF. Currently he is the Secretary of the Lawn Tennis Writers’ Association and Hon Vice President of the Tennis Industry Association UK.

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