Elena surprises Venus to reach Indian Wells semis

Posted March 20, 2017

Elena Vesnina recovered after blowing three match points to beat Venus Williams 6-2 4-6 6-3 and reach the semi-finals of the WTA event in Indian Wells.

After falling behind 5-3, Pliskova made the Russian work to close out the opening set, saving a set point in the ninth game and four more in the tiebreaker after Kuznetsova seized a 6-2 lead in the decider.

Vesnina took control early with a 5-0 lead in the first set. She was one point away from extending the lead when Pliskova's game started to click together and the Czech began to mount her comeback, saving set point to grab both breaks back.

Both players recorded three breaks of serve in a closely-fought contest, but it was the 2007 and 2008 runner-up who held her nerve to progress through to the final.

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Arguably, the Russian's best performance to date was in the fourth round against two-time Grand Slam champion and soon-to-be world number one Angelique Kerber.

Mladenovic, who claimed a maiden WTA title in St Petersburg last month before reaching the final in Acapulco, could not find an answer no matter how she tried.

Sock has lost his two previous matches against Federer, including a 6-3, 6-2 decision at Indian Wells in 2015. Kuznetsova has the better athleticism out of the two players and has more firepower in her shots. It was her first time in the United States, and she was ranked around 250 in the world. "It was first time I saw it, I was, like, 'Whoa, I really, really want to play this tournament.' I was dreaming just to get here".

"It's not easy, but I hope I can play good tennis in the final", she said.

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Vesnina had 38 unforced errors and eight double faults; Williams had 47 unforced errors and seven double faults. "I am looking forward to having a great game and may the best win".

"So, it's going to be hard match, but on the other hand, it's very exciting to play the semi-final match here in Indian Wells", she added. "She looked exhausted and slow on the court", Vesnina said.

Neither Mladenovic nor Wozniacki had dropped a set before their quarterfinal. "So I think it's a really great result for me". "In those moments, you need to trust your game, and that's what I did well".

Carreno Busta saved two match points in the third, including when Cuevas fell on a backhand leading 5-4, 4-30.

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"I was very focused".