Court Report: Vesnina, Kuznetsova to meet in Indian Wells final

by: Brad Kallet March 18, 2017

Each day on, we’ll feature Tennis Channel’s Court Report, a rundown of the day that was in the sport—along with our thoughts on what’s happening on the courts around the world.

Friday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells got off to a rough start when Nick Kyrgios was forced to withdraw from his quarterfinal against Roger Federer with food poisoning.

Jack Sock and Kei Nishikori salvaged the day, however, in the final quarterfinal of the tournament. Sock upset Nishikori, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, to record his first career Top 5 win and advance to his maiden Masters 1000 semifinal.

In the night session, unlikely semifinalists Elena Vesnina and Kristina Mladenovic battled for a spot in the championship match. The Russian, who upset soon-to-be world No. 1 Angelique Kerber and crowd favorite Venus Williams to get to the final four, breezed past the Frenchwoman, 6-3, 6-4.

Vesnina got off to a fast start, racing to a 5-0 lead. Mladenovic took the next three games to make it a set, but the 30-year-old held in the following game to take it.

The second set nearly played out in identical fashion. Vesnina took a commanding 5-1 lead, but on the brink of elimination, Mladenovic rattled off three games to cut it to 5-4. As she did in the first set, the world No. 15 won the final game on serve to advance to the biggest final of her 15-year career.

Vesnina will play two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. Kuznetsova beat third-ranked Karolina Pliskova, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2), in the second semifinal. 

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