Ten years later and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is back in the quarterfinals of the French Open after beating 2013 semifinalist Victoria Azarenka 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
PARIS — Ten years later, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is back in the quarterfinals of the French Open after beating 2013 semifinalist Victoria Azarenka 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday.
Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, who was doing the courtside interview, congratulated her.
“I’ve known you for a long time. We’re friends off the court,” Bartoli said. “I can see the joy on your face.”
Indeed, it was hard for Pavlyuchenkova to stop smiling.
The 29-year-old Russian has reached the quarters at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, but has never reached the semifinals at any major.
She might face 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams next.
The seventh-seeded American was playing No. 21 Elena Rybakina in the fourth round later Sunday, with the winner facing Pavlyuchenkova.
The former top-ranked Azarenka saved two break points before clinching the first set on a sunny Court Philippe-Chatrier, where the crowd was subdued.
Azarenka got a telling off, too, of sorts: a time violation warning for taking too long to serve in the third game of the deciding set — which, coincidentally, happened just as the wind was picking up.
Tamara Zidansek, meanwhile, became the first Slovenian woman to reach the quarterfinals of a major.
She won 7-6 (4), 6-1 against Romanian Sorana Cirstea after saving a set point in a tight first set between the unseeded players.
The 23-year-old Zidansek dropped to her knees and held her head in her hands after winning on her first match point.
Zidansek’s run is even more impressive, considering the former snowboard enthusiast had never beaten a top 10-ranked player before this tournament or been past the first round here.
No. 33 Paula Badosa of Spain joined her in the last eight for the first time at any major, beating No. 20 Marketa Vondrousova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
In later men’s play, fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas faced No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta and No. 6 Alexander Zverev was playing Kei Nishikori.
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