Perseverance pays off as Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova advances to the semi-finals of Grand Slam for the first time

Australian Open – 2017, 2019 & 2020 – Quarter Final
French Open – 2011 – Quarter Final
Wimbledon – 2016 – Quarter Final
US Open – 2011 – Quarter Final

Just the other day for the seventh time in her career in the singles of a Grand Slam we saw Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova into the final eight for a seventh time in her career.

The 29 year old Russian who made her first major quarter final in Paris ten years ago had never made it to the four final. Even in Grand Slam doubles she has exited the competition five times at the same stage.

Standing in her way of a maiden Grand Slam semi-final was Elena Rybakina who took out Serena Williams and is also the Russian’s doubles partner this week in Paris.

Anastasia is one of the best players in my opinion never to be ranked inside the top ten. Ranked as high as 13 in the world back in July 2011 the Russian has won 12 career singles titles and a super impressive 36 career wins over top ten ranked players over a consecutive period of 13 years.

It was truly wonderful to see Pavlyuchenkova through to her first major semi-final, epitomising the phrase ‘never giving up.’

It was a fight through, despite being 1-4 down in the opening set the 31st seed battled to get level at 4-4 and the set was eventually decided on a tie-break which was a little one sided… Rybakina led 5-0, Anastasia got on the board but the 21 year old sealed the set 6-2.

After losing the second set on a tie-break 6-2 the Russian repaid the favour winning the second set 6-2 taking the match to the wire. Pavlyuchenkova impressively extended her run of games to 8 of the last 10 taking a 2-0 lead in the third set.

Rybakina reeled off three games in a row to take the lead and the second continued on serve. At 6-6 there is no tie-break in the final set the players just go on but it wasn’t for much longer. Up 8-7 and level at 30-30 the Russian orchestrated a match point before going onto convert.

Pavlyuchenkova could be in another Grand Slam semi-final when she teams up against with Rybakina in the doubles against Linette and Pera.

On Thursday she will go up against Tamara Zidansek for a place in the Roland Garros singles final.

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