At 30 years of age, Elena Vesnina wins the most important title of her career. The Russian had an outstanding run in Indian Wells after defeating top players such as Angelique Kerber. Venus Williams, (an in-form), Kristina Mladenovic, and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The final against fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova was a sheer thriller. Elena squandered a 4-2 lead in the opener to lost the first set after a tight tiebreak (at 6). Things got extremely complicated for Vesnina in the 2nd set when she was 6-7 1-4 down. Eventually, Elena conquered four consecutive games (5-4) to win the set soon after (7-5). The decider was another struggle for Vesnina that after being broken again in the 6th game she had to battle from a 2-4 score line. Finally, the Russian found her way back again to clinch four consecutive games and win the match 6-7 (6) 7-5 6-4 in slightly more than 3 hours.
I just wanted to stay longer. SVITOLINA
After the match, Elena admitted that she just wanted to make things difficult for Svetlana when she was down. The Russian commented
"I was kind of fighting to just stay longer on the court, just don't give it so easy. I was telling to myself, 'You're 4-1 down. Nothing to lose. Just fight for each game, try to win every point, and try to deserve every point, because she will not give you anything.'
"She was up a set and 4-1, then 4-2 in the third. She had so many break points on my serve. She was 30-0 up a couple of times on her serves. And I always kept coming back.
I stuck there, you know. I was just not giving anything at that moment. I didn't think about the end of the match. I was just thinking about how to kind of get back into the game.
When I broke her at 4-All and went to serve for the match, I had this in my mind. I was, like, 'I'm not gonna give it. I went to serve,' and I was, like, 'I'm never gonna lose this game.'
I don't know how I have it in my mind serving for the championship point, championship game, without getting so nervous. I was really calm. I was not afraid to lose, you know, maybe for the whole match. I was just trying to play."