Kuznetsova sets up Vesnina final

Svetlana Kuznetsova knocked out third seed Karolina Pliskova to reach the final of BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

The Russian was better in the big moments against the veteran, edging her in back-to-back tiebreakers to win 7-6(5), 7-6(2) on the hard courts of Indian Wells.

Kuznetsova weathered a storm of aces from the world number three to reach her third final at the venue.

The eighth seed reeled off the first three games of the opening set in quick succession. But Pliskova battled back from the double break to force a tiebreaker. While she would save two set points, Kuznetsova would seal the set on her fourth attempt.

Things were a lot tighter in the second set, with the duo swapping breaks early on in lead up to another tiebreaker, which Kuznetsova dominated again.

The win books her a date in the final with Vesnina, who continued her fine form in California with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kristina Mladenovic earlier in the day.

Vesnina knocked out second seed Angelique Kerber and 12th seed Venus Williams on her way to her first ever Masters 1000 final.

"This was the biggest final and today, it was big," the 30-year-old said in her on-court interview. 

"It was electric, to be honest. I felt the atmosphere. It was a very important match for me."