1 Angelique Kerber said at this week’s tournament at Indian Wells. It’s a little bit strange also for the other players that someone can only just walk on site on Wednesday and play on Wednesday.” Russian countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova hummed a similar tune.
She is wary about a wild card being given to an admitted doper.
A third set that, like the first two, featured multiple service breaks saw Kuznetsova take a 4-2 lead before Vesnina broke for 4-3 then won a marathon ninth game in which Kuznetsova saved four break points before Vesnina converted her fifth with a stinging service winner to find herself serving for the match. "I was too far from the court, and I was running all the way, way behind, so the only thing I could do was defend. "I think that's why I lost." The victory continues Vesnina's rise of the last year.
The red-carpet treatment has many of the top women’s players dumbfounded.
With her Kremlin Cup win veteran Kuznetsova, 31, leapfrogged Johanna Konta of Great Britain to take the last spot in next week's WTA finals.
Moscow-born Gavrilova, who was playing in her first WTA tour final, started in a lively fashion, breaking early for a 2-0 lead, but Kuznetsova broke back on three occasions to take the opening set in 43 minutes.
Muguruza, seeded 14th, saved a tricky break point on her second service game - the only one she faced all match - but roared back to break to love en route to taking the first set.
Another early break in the second piled the pressure on Kuznetsova, the 32-year-old Russian with two grand slam titles to her name who was appearing in the quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years, and she was rarely able to threaten.