March 19, 2017 / 9:33 PM / 10 months ago

Tennis-Vesnina tops Kuznetsova in marathon Indian Wells final

March 19 (Reuters) - Elena Vesnina survived a battle of attrition to beat fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7(6) 7-5 6-4 in the women’s final at the BNP Paribas Open in the California desert on Sunday.

After more than three hours in the scorching midday sun on the Indian Wells hard court, Vesnina finally clinched victory on her second championship point when eighth seed Kuznetsova sent a service return long.

The 14th seed collapsed to the court with a mixture of ecstasy and exhaustion before the combatants hugged at the net.

The win marked the biggest title of Vesnina’s career and will boost the 30-year-old Russian to 13th in the world rankings, surpassing her current career-high of 15th which she reached last month. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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