Victoria Azarenka has not been into the last eight at Roland Garros since 2013 when she made the semi-finals. Since then in her following five appearances in the French capital the Belarusian has won just four matches before this week but a place in the final final eight for the first time in eight years were put on hold with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova progressing forward.
The match started with the two players trading breaks of serve but both hitting the ball extremely well and painting the lines with quite a few shots. Pavlyuchenkova in particular started well hitting 9 winners in the opening few games, it felt like the Russian couldn’t miss.
Pavlyuchenkova led 3-1 in the early exchanges but the errors did slightly catch up with her and ended the set hitting 10 more than Vika who went onto win 6 of the following 8 games having trailed 1-3.
Serving for the set saw some opportunities for Anastasia but she couldn’t get a play on the Azarenka serve hitting both returns into the net and Vika closing out the set 7-5 just before the hour mark.
The Russian didn’t let the disappointment of the first set bother her too much as she started the set in fantastic fashion breaking the serve of the Belarusian. A 3-0 lead looked likely but it got messy from Pavlyuchenkova from 40-15 and was broken back!
The breaks of serve continued to follow before Pavlyuchenkova got ahead again and book the second set 6-3.
Breaks were once exchanged at the beginning of the third set. We Azarenka serving at 1-1 the Belarusian was given a time warning on serve…
Another break point saved and for the first time since the end of the first set, Azarenka led in the match!
That was that for Azarenka, a bit of bad language to her coach as she wasn’t happy with the lack of vocal support from her box and the Russian who was a threat throughout is back in a quarter final of a major for the seventh time and first time in Paris since 2011.