Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Secures Landmark Victory In Roland Garros Thriller - UBITENNIS
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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Secures Landmark Victory In Roland Garros Thriller

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova broke her grand slam quarter-final curse after beating Elena Rybakina.

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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (@WTArussians - Twitter)

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached her first grand slam semi-final with a 6-7(2) 6-2 9-7 win over Elena Rybakina.

The Russian came back from a set down and was the more consistent player as she edged out the 21st seed to reach her maiden grand slam semi-final.

Next for Pavlyuchenkova will be Tamara Zidansek on Thursday.

In the first set it was Rybakina who was dominating most of proceedings, with her big serve and effortless hitting causing Pavlyuchenkova problems.

The Kazakh was rewarded for her efforts as she took a 4-1 lead as she opened up the spaces on the court flawlessly.

Back came the Russian in the second half of the set as Rybakina started to produce more unforced errors as well as rushing a lot of her play.

In the end Pavlyuchenkova restored the break deficit and levelled things up at 4-4.

After that both players controlled their aggressive plays and managed to find a bit of consistency.

That was especially important for the 21st seed who seemed to go for a lot more high percentage shots than her Russian opponent as this set would be decided by a tiebreak.

It was a strategy that would pay off as she saved her best tennis for the important moments with Pavlyuchenkova committing a lot of unforced errors.

Rybakina wrapped up the tiebreak 7-2 and took a one set lead after 58 minutes.

Despite that first set, you felt that Pavlyuchenkova’s base level of play was at a much higher level and that was going to stand for her well in the second set.

That is what exactly happened as she managed to create more opportunities with the Kazakh’s level dropping significantly.

A Pavlyuchenkova slip on break point allowed Rybakina to get distracted and miss an overhead smash as the Russian dealt the crucial blow for a 4-2 lead.

Seemingly Rybakina was struggling to find her level from the first set and some nicely constructed points on return from Pavlyucvhenkova saw another break of serve as this match was heading to a deciding set.

In the third set the Russian capitalised on her momentum and took the early break advantage.

However as so often happened in this match the momentum shifted again towards Rybakina with the Kazakh finding her big-hitting range to win three games in a row.

The break lead to Rybakina didn’t last long though as Pavlyuchenkova continued to force some wild errors out of her opponent’s racket.

After that both players were unable to outmanoeuvre each other on return as some effective combinations were produced in effective service holds.

As the match went on, the more clutch both players got as for the second time today a match went to extra innings.

However it was Pavlyuchenkova who applied the most pressure on return and a Rybakina double fault sealed a landmark victory for the Russian.

Tamara Zidansek now awaits for Pavlyuchenkova in what will be her first ever grand slam semi-final.

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Perspective And Fatigue: The Two Sides Of Iga Swiatek’s Dubai Defeat

Iga Swiatek spoke about perspective and fatigue after her semi-final exit in Dubai.

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Iga Swiatek showed two sides to her defeat in Dubai as the world number one surprisingly failed to win the title despite being the favourite in the semi-finals.

Heading into her semi-final in Dubai, Swiatek was heavy favourite to win her second consecutive WTA title after claiming the title in Doha the week before.

However Swiatek was unsuccessful in her bid to reach the final as she lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for Swiatek who missed a golden opportunity to establish even more dominance ahead of Indian Wells.

As all champions do Swiatek offered perspective to her defeat as she looks ahead to the rest of the season, “I mean, I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it,” Swiatek was quoted by Tennis Majors.

There was not only perspective offered but also fatigue as expectations and pressure can force simple mistakes from the best players in the world.

The world number one acknowledged Kalinskaya’s performance but did admit her own performance contributed to the defeat, “Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” Swiatek told Tennis Majors.

“I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had. Usually, when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t. Day by day, it was a little bit worse.”

Swiatek will hope to re-energize herself ahead of the sunshine double in America.

Last year Swiatek lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals at Indian Wells before withdrawing from Miami.

The Pole will look to improve last year’s performance when she plays Indian Wells, which starts on the 6th of March.

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‘Speechless’ Mensik Reaches Maiden ATP Final In Doha

Jakub Mensik is into his first ATP final in Doha.

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Jakub Mensik admitted he was left speechless after reaching his first ATP final in Doha.

The 18 year-old continued his remarkable week with a 6-4 1-6 6-3 semi-final victory over Gael Monfils.

The Czech Republican produced clinical tennis as he beat the 2018 champion to reach his maiden ATP final.

After the match Mensik admitted he was left ‘speechless’ and spoke about the influence Monfils had on his career, “It is amazing. Hopefully not the last one [final]. Incredible week so far,” Mensik told the ATP website.

“Today again with Gael, he played unbelievable. I know it is tough to play against him, especially with his good movement. For me every point I have to play my best game.

“I have to say this performance was one of the best in my entire life. I am so glad I reached this level in the semis, so hopefully tomorrow I play like this. An amazing feeling with my first ATP final. I am speechless.

“I told him when I was young I watched him a lot on the TV. One of the biggest showman on court. He is a great guy, so hopefully in the future we will meet once again. The rallies were so fun with him.”

Mensik has so far beaten three former champions this week as he also defeated Andy Murray and Andrey Rublev this week.

Now Mensik will aim to win his first ATP title as he takes on Karen Khachanov in Saturday’s final.

Should Mensik win the title he could climb to 75 in the world as he started the week at 116 in the world.

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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