Pavlyuchenkova upsets Azarenka to reach French Open Quarterfinals - UBITENNIS
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Pavlyuchenkova upsets Azarenka to reach French Open Quarterfinals

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova edged out Victoria Azarenka to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years.

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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

The Russian came back from a set down to pull off the upset against the two time grand slam champion.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is into the quarterfinals of the French Open after coming back to beat Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in three sets 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes. The Russian hit 45 winners in the win while the number 15 seed hit 30 unforced errors in the loss.

“It’s incredible that 10 years later I’m still playing tennis and it’s a little surprise for me and I fought for every ball, every point and I thought I played well but I think she played super well especially in the first set but I fought and I am very happy to win”.

Pavlyuchenkova is referencing the fact that last time she reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros was exactly 10 years ago back in 2011 and now she is back in the final eight of the tournament.

The Russian didn’t have the best start to the match as in the first game of the first set she would serve a double fault to give the number 15 seed a breakpoint and the Belarusian would break with a backhand winner to take an early 1-0 lead.

The world number 32 would respond the next game by earning three breakpoints of her very own and would get the break back when the world number 16 served a double fault.

After finally holding serve the Russian would earn two chances to break and at the second time of asking would break to take a 3-1 lead but was unable to consolidate the break.

It would stay on serve until 5-5 when this time it was the Minsk, Belarus native who would break to take a 6-5 lead and serve for the first set saving two breakpoints as well as converting a set point on her second opportunity to take the first set.

The Russian would storm back in the second set and after holding the opening service game of the set would earn her first chance to break and convert to take an early 2-0 lead.

Again the Belarusian would respond by earning a breakpoint with a great forehand winner and breaking back to go back on serve but was broken once again the following game.

Once again holding serve seemed to be an issue for both players and Azarenka would break back. At 4-3 the Russian would break once again to take a 5-3 lead and serve out the second set to send it to a decider.

The Russian continued to have the momentum going into the third set and earned two breakpoints in the first game, breaking with a forehand winner of her very own.

The Belarusian responded by breaking back the next game and holding serve before going on the offensive but the Russian hung in and held serve again.

The Russian earned two more chances to get a break and she did just that and this time managed to consolidate the break to take a 4-2 lead and keep the momentum once again, getting a double break lead before serving out the match.

In her on court interview Pavlyuchenkova spoke about reuniting with her brother as her coach and how things have been going since they rejoined forces.

“He actually plays tennis really well but now he stopped which is good because he can play with me and we already worked together in the past and it worked well and now I am very happy because he is my brother and tactically I like what he tells me and he is always so positive and even today when I lost the first set and I think that’s very important for me”

Pavlyuchenkova will either face the American Serena Williams or Elena Rybakina from Kazakstan in the quarterfinals.

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Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.

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Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVj537F-wQ

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

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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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