Kuznetsova topples Pliskova to set up all-Russian Indian Wells final

California [USA], Mar. 18 (ANI): Svetlana Kuznetsova toppled world number three Karolina Pliskova under the Stadium 1 lights on Friday to book her place in an all-Russian final at the Indian Wells Masters.

The World No. 8 defeated Pliskova 7-6(5) 7-6(2) in a match that lasted for almost two hours.

Kuznetsova converted on her first match point while leading 6-2 in the tie-break, and closed out the contest with a thrilling rally.

This is the 31-year-old's 40th career final and third in Indian Wells. She finished runner-up in back-to-back finals in 2007 and 2008.

Kuznetsova, who is a two-time major champion (2004 US Open and 2009 Roland Garros), will face fellow Russian Elena Vesnina in Sunday's final.

Vesnina defeated over in-form Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-3, 6-4 in a match that lasted for one hour and 24 minutes.

"We've been teammates since we were 12 [years old]," the tournament website quoted Kuznetsova as saying about Vesnina.

"It's great that it's a Russian final."

"I'm really happy for [Vesnina]. I am looking forward to having a great game and may the best win," she added. (ANI)