Kuznetsova: “I was too passive”

Published by Matt Trollope

Svetlana Kuznetsova casts a despondent figure during the women's singles final at the 2017 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells; Getty Images
Svetlana Kuznetsova lamented her court positioning, serve and strategy after falling to Elena Vesnina in the final at Indian Wells.

Svetlana Kuznetsova said she simply wasn’t feeling it during her loss to Elena Vesnina in the BNP Paribas Open final on Sunday.

Kuznetsova led by a set and 4-1 and also built a 4-2 lead in the third set, but couldn’t close out her more aggressive opponent.

The Russian said it hadn’t helped that she’d barely faced her compatriot on the singles court despite both being on tour for well over a decade.

“I have not played her so much to know her game better. Definitely the next time I will come up to play against her I will have better strategy. I think it doesn’t help me that we didn’t play much before,” said Kuznetsova, who has now lost all three Indian Wells finals she has contested.

“I felt like when I was playing, I didn’t feel good today, because she was very aggressive, and I was a little bit out of my game. I was too far from the court, and I was running all the way, way behind, so the only thing I could defend. And I didn’t serve well.

“Even I made it 7-6, 4-1 and was one break (ahead), and she kept being aggressive, and, yeah, I was too passive. I think that’s why I lost.

“I was trying to do the best I could, but this is the type of day when you don’t play your best tennis and you’ve gotta still do your effort. Some days you just don’t feel the best way. You cannot really explain why.

“Today it wasn’t like other night when I played (Karolina) Pliskova, I was playing great. Now, to play day match, it’s a bit different. I couldn’t figure out a lot the wind and stuff like that.

“I had to go to be more inside of the court, and I couldn’t do it.”

Kuznetsova nonetheless paid tribute to Vesnina, who she said deserved credit for being the more aggressive player in the final.

If she was to keep playing the way she played at Indian Wells, Kuznetsova said there was no reason why Vesnina could not reach the world’s top 10.

Vesnina will ascend to No.13 on Monday when the new WTA rankings are released.

“Why not? Of course, I mean, she did semis in Wimbledon last year. She won here now,” Kuznetsova said.

“She has to be much more consistent to be in top 10, but she can make it, for sure.”

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