Elena Vesnina, who won her first Premier Mandatory title at Indian Wells by beating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final, says she was determined and didn’t waver in the third set.
Vesnina trailed for much of the match but said she took command at 4-4 in the third.
"I was like, ‘I’m not going to give it,’" the 30-year-old Russian said. "She was up [a] set and 4-1, then 4-2 in the third. She had so many break points on my serve. And I always keep coming back."
The new champion couldn't even qualify for the tournament in 2016. A year later Vesnina has risen to a career-best No. 13 in the rankings. As a veteran, she knows what she wants to do on court.
“My kind of game, I’m doing a lot of unforced errors,” the former Grand Slam semifinalist said. “I’m playing aggressive, I’m playing good angles and I’m moving the openings around. And I’m using the net game as well. I’m not afraid to come in and finish the point at the net, which is kind of an all-court game, which is quite difficult to play against when it’s on.
"That’s the thing —to keep your game on for the whole tournament.”
Vesnina did that, also defeating Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber during her surprise run.