Elena Vesnina defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova on Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. In the all-Russian final, Vesnina beat Kuznetsova 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4.
Vesnina, 30, didn’t even get past the first round of qualifying last year, yet this time around she defeated both No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber and No. 12 Venus Williams before claiming the final.
“When I had a couple of good wins against the good players, I was, like, ‘Okay, this is it. I have it. So just remember this. Remember your shots. Remember your kind of feelings on the court when you were winning these matches. Try to keep it as long as I can,’” Vesnina said to WTA Tennis.
The only other all-Russian women’s final was in 2006 between Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva where Sharapova won.
Vesnina’s victory earned her $1,175,505 and two spots up in the world rankings to No. 13. She also will claim No. 6 in the Road to Singapore leaderboard.
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“And now here I won the title, and this sounds like a miracle for everybody, for you guys, for me, for, I think, all the girls out there. I think nobody could pick me at the beginning of the tournament that I could win this title. Me, also. I couldn’t pick myself,” Vesnina said.