RETRO! Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Fights Back Victoria Azarenka, Gets Back in French Open 2021 Quarterfinals After a Decade

Published 06/06/2021, 8:26 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 6, 2021 Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reacts during her fourth round match against Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier


It was the fourth round of the French Open 2021 and Victoria Azarenka was up against Russian player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Prior to today’s match, the two had faced each other on six occasions. The rivalry has been dominated by the Belarusian player, winning five of those matches.

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Today, however, was a different story as the Russian won 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Set 1: Victoria Azarenka leaves it late but crosses over

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As the match began, both players exchanged breaks in an opening couple of games. They continued the trend again as the set progressed until they were tied at 3-3. 

Soon after, both Victoria Azarenka and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova began serving accurately. The match was in the balance until the Belarusian player got the break to serve for the set at 6-5. 

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 6, 2021, Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka in action during her fourth round match against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

However, the Russian player did have a sight to break back, but the composure of the two-time Grand Slam champion helped her overcome the hurdle. After 55 minutes into the match, Azarenka sealed the first set in her favor, 7-5. 

Set 2: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova fights back 

In the second set, Anastasia began proceedings and held her serve with ease. Things got interesting when she broke Azarenka in the very next game and raced to a 2-0 lead. Both players were holding their service games until 4-3 when the Russian got the all-important break to get the lead at 5-3. She consolidated the break by holding serve, thus winning the set 6-3.

It took the Russian 39 minutes to wrap up the second set. During the set, Azarenka’s unforced errors damaged her chances of staying alive during the set. 

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 6, 2021 Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in action during her fourth round match against Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Set 3: Victoria Azarenka fails to match up 

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As things went down the wire, both players had to give it all in the final set. They started proceedings by breaking each other’s serves in the first couple of games. 

In the fifth game of the set, the Russian player got the upper hand by breaking her opponent to take the lead at 3-2. In the end, the Russian served it out to seal the set 6-2.

The winner of this match will face the winner of the match between Serena Williams and Elena Rybakina for a spot in the semifinals of the French Open 2021

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Watch this story: CHAMPIONS: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others’ Trophy Lifts at French Open

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Rohan Kollare

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Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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