The WTA singles final at the 2017 BNP Paribas Open has sprung the two unlikeliest of finalists, in the 14th seed Elena Vesnina and the eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. The tournament, which featured the withdrawal of World No 1 Serena Williams right at the eve of its start, saw a series of upsets right up to the semi-final.
Here’s then a quick look at the semi-final results at Indian Wells:
Svetlana Kuznetsova ousts Karolina Pliskova
Kuznetsova, a two-time former finalist at Indian Wells upset World No 3 and the highest remaining seed in the draw, Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) in an hour and 55 minutes.
In the first set, it was Kuznetsova who got an early break of serve to lead 3-0 before Pliskova caught up with her with a break back to take the set into the tie-break. The Czech saved three set points in the tie-break, before her opponent converted on her fourth set point to give herself the lead in the match.
The opening service games in the second set saw breaks being exchanged between the two players, before the set proceeded onto the tie-break. Unlike in the first set tie-break though, Kuznetsova looked sharper as she converted the first of her four match points in the tie-break.
Elena Vesnina ends Kristina Mladenovic’s run
Earlier, in the first semi-final of the day, Vesnina defeated Kristina Mladenovic in their semi-final to book her place in the Indian Wells final on Friday. The Russian prevailed over her French opponent in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
It will be the first time that Vesnina will be featuring in the women’s singles final of a WTA Premier Mandatory tournament.
The 30-year-old made good of the break point opportunities she got and raced to early leads in both sets, but looked to have had a small loss of concentration as her 28th seeded rival started to make a comeback with a break back. However, Vesnina did well to hold her nerves in the end as she served out the match in the 10th game of the set.
Talking to the press after her win, Vesnina said, “She (Mladenovic) started to put a lot of pressure on me. It’s tough to play the whole match like this, so I tried to play steady. I tried to focus point by point.”
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