WTA Indian Wells: Elena Vesnina gets past the tough challenge of Shelby Rogers

WTA Indian Wells: Elena Vesnina gets past the tough challenge of Shelby Rogers

14th seed Elena Vesnina managed to get the better of Shelby Rogers in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open, triumphing in straight sets after 102 minutes to progress to the third round.

don-han
Don Han

The second round of the BNP Paribas Open saw Elena Vesnina defeating Shelby Rogers in straight sets in a match full of powerful tennis, with this being the Russian’s first victory over the American.

Vesnina holds onto the lead

Vesnina started the match serving and that decision proved to be worth taking the risk for as the Russian held her serve to 30 in the opening game of the match, getting off on a positive note. The following game saw Vesnina break down Rogers’ serve as she used her powerful groundstrokes to dictate play and eventually broke serve to take the early advantage, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Having a chance to consolidate the break of serve, Vesnina earned a game point in the next game as she aimed to extend her lead to two games. However, Rogers had other ideas as this time she was able to control proceedings and break straight back much thanks to her booming forehands to return level on serve.

Shelby Rogers put up a spirited display today | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America
Shelby Rogers put up a spirited display today | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America

Nevertheless, the experienced veteran made an immediate reply by breaking straight back, saving two game points along the way to regain the lead. With the momentum running in the Russian, she comfortably held her serve to consolidate the service break, extending her lead to three games. As both players became more solid on their serves as the match progressed, a break of serve seemed to be rare as neither of them was able to make a breakthrough in their return games.

The next break of serve could not have come later as Rogers made the crucial fightback at the most crucial moment, breaking back while Vesnina was serving for the set and earned a set point, but threw it away after hitting a double fault to allow Rogers to have a way back into the set. Serving to stay in the set at 4-5, it seemed as though it would be yet another comfortable service hold for the American as she quickly earned two game points to level the scores. Nevertheless, Vesnina managed to find her way back as she attacked the second serves of Rogers, allowing herself to break serve for the third time and take the first set after 48 minutes.

Elena Vesnina would be happy with her performance today | Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images AsiaPac
Elena Vesnina would be happy with her performance today | Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images AsiaPac

Vesnina edges the second set

After an exchange of service holds to start the second set with, it was surprisingly Rogers who made the first breakthrough of the set as she stepped up her game and dictated play with her powerful groundstrokes to have the lead for the first time in the match. What followed up was two consecutive breaks of serve, with the server unable to win any points in either of the game as both players played a sloppy service game.

After trying to find a breakthrough for a long period of time, the Russian finally found one in the eighth game of the set as she earned the break back and returned level all of a sudden. The set was eventually extended to an 11th game as both players became solid on their serves, with Vesnina aiming to close it out in straight sets. It turned out that the Russian was able to do so as she broke serve in the last game of the match after coming from 30-15 down, playing some awesome baseline tennis to seal the win within 1 hour and 42 minutes.

Shelby Rogers wasted her lead in the second set | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America
Shelby Rogers wasted her lead in the second set | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America

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