RUSSIAN SPIRIT! Maria Sharapova Reacts After Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Joins Her in Elite Grand Slam Record at French Open 2021

Published 06/10/2021, 11:09 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 10, 2021 Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova celebrates winning her semi final match against Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier


No.31 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached her first Grand Slam final after she beat Tamara Zidansek in straight sets in the semifinal. The match lasted for 94 minutes as the scorecard read – 7-5, 6-3.

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With her semifinal triumph, Pavlyuchenkova became the first Russian female player to reach a Grand Slam final since Maria Sharapova reached the 2015 Australian Open final. Moreover, she is the 10th Russian player male or female to reach the Grand Slam finals.

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15 years ago, Pavlyuchenkova saw herself at the top of the junior world ranking, and now at the age of 29 and playing her 52nd Grand Slam tournament, she has finally reached the last stage of the Grand Slam

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova gritty win over Tamara Zidansek in the French Open 2021 semifinal

At the start of the match, Zidansek took the initial charge of the match as she broke Pavlyuchenkova early. The Russian had a few errors here and there but made an instant comeback as she broke Zidansek to level the set 2-2. Here Zidansek’s shots were slowly fading, but the set remained close.

Serving at 4-3, Zidansek hit some wild backhands that resulted in Pavlyuchenkova breaking her and serving for the first set at 5-3. However, Zidansek hit an unreal backhand smash lob winner to inspire a comeback and soon leveled the set, 5-5. The Slovenian couldn’t continue with consistency and was broken at 6-5; Pavlyuchenkova took the set, 7-5.

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In the second set, Pavlyuchenkova also felt the nerves as she made a few errors early on. But Zidansek’s serve was losing her. She hit a double fault and her backhand paved way for Pavlyuchenkova to break and lead, 2-0. But the topsy-turvy nature of the set continued as Zidansek and Pavlyuchenkova exchanged breaks as the Russian led, 3-1.

While leading at 4-2, Pavlyuchenkova hit two double faults to forfeit her advantage. But Zidansek was in disarray as her backhand was her weak spot and Pavlyuchenkova targeted it to break the Slovenian and serve for the match at 5-3. Pavlyuchenkova served smartly and took the place in the French Open 2021 final.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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