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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Vesnina can play her part in all-Russian desert title decider

Kuznetsova may not pummel her compatriot in straight sets

Elena Vesnina has enjoyed a terrific run at Indian Wells
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Women's final
BT Sport 1, 6pm Sunday

Two experienced Russians contest the final of the Indian Wells Open but while dual Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova is the obvious favourite on what she has achieved in her career, it would be foolish to dismiss the chance of Elena Vesnina upsetting her compatriot.

Kuznetsova has been well backed to win the match and lift the trophy in the Californian desert, but it's one win apiece in the pair's personal history and Vesnina claimed their only previous hardcourt clash eight years ago.

Kuznetsova can be backed at 4-7, while the oddsmakers ensure there's a 100 per cent book for the title decider with quotes of 7-4 about Vesnina.

Ladbrokes reckon Kuznetsova will pull rank on her opponent - Kuznetsova is the world number eight while Vesnina lies seven spots below her friend - and make the outsider 4-6 to win at least a set.

But while Kuznetsova can be an accomplished performer in finals and is no stranger to triumphing in straight sets, she turns 32 soon and won't be pummelling rivals forever. With Vesnina in such fine form - she defeated Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 6-4 in the last four - she could claim a set at least.

E Vesnina to win at least a set
1pt 4-6 Ladbrokes

It's one win apiece in their personal series and Vesnina claimed their only previous hardcourt clash
E.W. Terms
Sky bet