"I'm really happy that I was able to close this one out because it was very physical, tough, and long match for us," she said after the match.
The Russian was looking for avenge a defeat in the first round at the Brisbane International earlier this year, when Cornet, 27, prevailed in a thrilling third-set tie-break. Making her second appearance in St. Petersburg, Vesnina was ranked outside the Top 100 just over a year ago, but is currently on course for a career-high ranking of No.15 unless No.6 seed Roberta Vinci defends her title.
Up against the French veteran on Thursday, the No.5 seed had her work cut out for her after a tough opening, but grew into the match, her forehand proving a formidable weapon to overcome her French opponent.
"At the beginning, I felt a bit slow, and like I was going for too much sometimes; that's why I was missing by just a few centimeters.
"My coach came onto the court, and told me that I had to be more consistent, and use my pace to put the ball in the court with spin. That helped a lot, and after that I changed my game plan a little bit and it worked."
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