Elena ends cam­paign on a high

New Straits Times - - Sport -

IN­DIAN WELLS: 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 No 15 Elena bat­tled through a tense three hours and one minute to sub­due eighthranked Svet­lana, a two-time Grand Slam cham­pion.

The tri­umph comes a year af­ter Elena, 30, fell in the first round of qual­i­fy­ing at In­dian Wells and capped a tour­na­ment that saw her down both Ger­many’s soonto-be num­ber one An­gelique Ker­ber and seven-time Grand Slam cham­pion Venus Wil­liams.

For Svet­lana, 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.

The vic­tory con­tin­ues Elena’s rise of the last year.

She reached the semi-fi­nals at Wim­ble­don in 2016 and is no stranger to the big stage in dou­bles, in which she cap­tured Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro.

While she said her Olympic dou­bles tri­umph holds a spe­cial place in her heart, Elena was thrilled with the big­gest sin­gles win of her ca­reer.

“Only the Grand Slam is big­ger, the only thing that can beat this win,” she said. AFP

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