Vesnina beats Venus in quarters

Kristina Mladenovic

Mladenovic is through to her first semi-final in a top tier WTA premier mandatory event

Jack Sock celebrated a pair of firsts on Friday by powering past fourth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 to book a date with Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

She said on BT Sport 1: "Today was big and it was electric, I felt the atmosphere and it was a very important match and I was playing pretty good".

On this day, only championship point could floor Vesnina.

The semifinals required two tight tiebreakers for Kuznetsova to defeat third seed and last year's semifinalist Karolina Pliskova, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2).

The world's eighth-ranked player has been pushed to three sets just once-Round 3 against Roberta Vinci-while the remainder of her wins have come in straight sets. And now I won it. She was runner-up in 2007 and 2008.

The 15th seed, Vesnina's surprising march to the finals included upset wins over No. 2 Angelique Kerber followed by a stunning three-set quarterfinal victory over American Venus Williams. At age 30, she has reached the biggest final of her career. "I was really focused on not giving him anything", Stan said.

Eighteen-time Grand Slam victor Federer advanced to the semi-finals without lifting a racket as suspected food poisoning forced Australian Nick Kyrgios to withdraw from their much anticipated quarter-final.

Seventy-two minutes of suspense ended with a twist of the tape.

Kuznetsova had luck on her side early, winning the first set on a net cord in the tiebreaker.

Neither Mladenovic nor Wozniacki had dropped a set before their quarterfinal. Kuznetsova reeled off eight of the first nine points building a 2-0 lead.

But she slowed Kuznetsova's progress with a break for 2-1 before another break and a hold from Kuznetsova put Kuznetsova up 4-1.

Shrugging off a double fault, Kuznetsova clobbered an ace down the middle for 4-1.

The Olympic gold medal double champion found a second win and increased depth reeling off six of the next seven games.

Vesnina looked a little rattled as Kuznetsova stormed through the first two games of the second set.

They traded breaks to start the decider.

The pair exchange breaks again in the sixth and seventh games. She was even serving well. Kuznetsova saved both then denied a third.

"Everything was just so attractive here", Vesnina said. Third seed Wawrinka won a gripping slugfest against the 23-year-old Austrian, hammering home five third-set aces including one to reach quadruple match point in the tiebreak. "One of us can be in the final".

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