Maria Sharapova

Elena Vesnina reaches Indian Wells finals after losing in qualifying in 2016

Elena Vesnina reaches Indian Wells finals after losing in qualifying in 2016

A year ago, Elena Vesnina hit a low point when she lost in the first round of qualifying at the BNP Paribas Open and was ranked No. 86 in the world.

This year, she arrived at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden as No. 15 in the world and on Sunday will play for the championship.

The 30-year-old Russian raced past Kristina Mladenovic of France in the first set of their semifinal Friday and held off a late-charging Mladenovic in the second set to earn a 6-3, 6-4 victory under the lights of Stadium 1.

Her opponent in the final will be No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, who defeated No.3 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2).

The last player to...

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