Tennis
Kuznetsova, Vesnina reach Indian Wells final
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Kuznetsova, Vesnina reach Indian Wells final

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Straight-sets wins saw Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Vesnina into the BNP Paribas Open final.
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Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Vesnina set up an all-Russian BNP Paribas Open final with straight-sets wins on Friday.

Kuznetsova, a two-time runner-up at Indian Wells, edged third seed Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-2) in their semi-final.

The world number eight and two-time grand-slam champion battled through two tie-breaks, winning in one hour, 55 minutes.

Kuznetsova had given up a 3-0 lead in the first set, and she allowed Pliskova back into the tie-break from 6-2 up before sealing the opener.

Czech Pliskova broke to start the second set but gave that advantage away before Kuznetsova proved too good in the tie-break again.

The final will be the 40th of Kuznetsova's career on the WTA Tour, and first of 2017.

VESNINA ALSO INTO DECIDER

Awaiting her in the final of the WTA Premier event is Vesnina, who eased past Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 6-4.

Vesnina made it three wins from as many meetings with the Frenchwoman, breaking serve five times in her victory.


For Vesnina, the decider will be her 10th WTA final as she looks to improve on a 2-7 win-loss record.

Kuznetsova and Vesnina have split their two previous clashes, although the former won the most recent match in 2014.

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