Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached the first semi-final of the Grand Slam on Tuesday in her 52nd attempt and will play for the French Open final when Slovenia’s Tamara Zidans takes the world number 85. Pavlyuchenkova, the world number 32, beat her partner Elena Rybakina 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 9-7 in her first appearance of the last quarter in Roland Garros in 2011. “There’s so much excitement about the Grand Slam semi-final for the first time,” said Pavlyuchenkova, a 29-year-old who has fallen in the quarterfinals six times since her debut in 2007.
“I’ve always had tennis. I’m probably stronger mentally now. I’m trying to play smarter tennis. I’m working harder.”
Rybakina knocked out Serena Williams in the previous round and went into the first with a 4-1 result. Pavlyuchenkova broke in the seventh game 6.4 meters (1.84 meters) before dominating the Russian-born Kazakh.
The Russian drew level after a break in the sixth and eighth games of the second set.
In the tense decision, there were four interruptions in the first six games before Rybakina was successful in Game 16 as he dropped in size in his sixth double foul.
Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev entered his first French Open semi-final with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 win over Spanish Fokina Alejandro Davidovich.
The sixth-placed German is waiting for the winner between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the afternoon session.
Previously, Zidans was the first woman to represent Slovenia who was unknown after beating Paula Badosa of Spain 7-5, 4-6, 8-6 in the final quarter.
“It feels great. It’s hard to get into this fast,” said Zidans, who never made it past the second round.
Zidans recovered from a 3-0 win and scored a double-digit break in the first set and won the most clay courts on the WTA tour this season.
Slovenia got their second match to continue the dream race. Two victories are left to emulate Mima Jausovec from Maribor, who won Roland Garros in 1977 while representing Yugoslavia.
– Tsitsipas-Medvedev Showdown –
Zverev has won 15 sets in a row after recovering from two sets against qualifier Oscar Otte in the first round.
He easily sidelined Davidovich’s 46th-place finish, scoring 37 unforced errors and only 16 wins in his first major quarterfinal.
“It’s nice to be in the semifinals, but being here doesn’t satisfy me,” said Zverev, who finished second in the 2020 U.S. Open.
Tsitsipas hopes to continue in the direction of the first Grand Slam final when he meets Medvedev under the lights of the Court Philippe Chatrier, the last match to be played behind closed doors before facilitating a national local regatta.
Greece’s fifth-place finisher will try to get a successful major third in the semi-finals, as they lost an exciting five-three last year against Novak Djokovic last year.
Medvedev is the second pregnant woman to block her path, she has not won a game in the previous four visits to the French Open but is a Russian who is giving more and more confidence in the clay in the last week.
Medvedev, the second U.S. Open champion in 2019 and this year’s Australian Open finalist, has a 6-1 head-to-head advantage over Tsitsipas.
In the straight sets the Greek won the last four in Melbourne, in the last meeting.
“I think I have to think about who I face or not, I have to play my game so we can witness to the rest,” Tsitsipas said.
Medvedev could get first place if he reaches the final and Djokovic doesn’t.
He has lost 15-20 in his career in clay losses, but the return of Roland Garros to the traditional May-June stretch and much warmer temperatures have helped the Russians shake off the bad memories of past editions.
“Definitely a better feeling than losing the first lap, going home on Tuesday as I thought I lost here two or three times on Sunday. It’s not a good feeling. I hope it gets better every year,” Medvedev said.
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