Vesnina outlasts Kuznetsova in marathon Indian Wells final
- Vesnina will rise to 13th in the world rankings
- Players combine for 16 service breaks in 34 games
"I was trying to get rest. My dad (and coach Sergey) said 'come to the net, put pressure on her' and it worked."
The 14th seed collapsed to the court with a mixture of ecstasy and exhaustion after the final point, before the combatants hugged at the net.
Neither player served particularly well. There were 16 breaks in the 34 games and Vesnina dropped serve seven times, but that was better than her opponent, and proved to be the difference.
For Kuznetsova, who was making her third appearance in the Indian Wells final and first since 2008, the result will leave a bitter taste as she was seeking to shed her reputation as player who struggles to close the deal in big matches.
Vesnina, on the other hand, was overjoyed.
"I cannot believe to be honest, to win such a big title against such a great player," Vesnina said.
"I was down a set and 4-1. It seems like it was so far away this title, and now I won it I’m so happy."