Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will face Barbora Krejcikova in her first grand slam final after
beating Tamara Zidansek in the French Open semis on Thursday, After a tournament
of upsets, injuries, withdrawals, and controversy, there are just two women left
standing in the French Open singles.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 31st seed from Russia, and Barbora Krejcikova,
the world No. 33 from the Czech Republic, will contest one of the most unlikely of
finals in recent times.
Neither had been beyond the quarter-finals at a major tournament prior to this event
but both proved too strong for fellow Grand Slam semi-final debutants Tamara Zidansek
and Maria Sakkari.
The second of the two matches was one of the most tense and dramatic semi-finals
at Roland Garros in recent memory, with both saving match points in a gruelling third set
before Krejcikova – who is also still involved in the doubles – claimed a 7-5 4-6 9-7 win.
‘I always wanted to play a match like this,’ said Krejcikova, who saved one match point in
the third set. ‘We both had our chances, we’d both been playing so well. Only one can
win. ‘Even if I lost today I would just be very proud of myself. I was just fighting.
That’s the most important thing. In here but also in normal life. Fighting is the most
Earlier on Thursday, Pavlyuchenkova made a slice of history by becoming the first woman
to play 52 majors before reaching a first final.
One month away from her 30th birthday, the Russian – who made her Slam singles
debut at Wimbledon in 2007 – has finally overcome her quarter-final hoodoo to arrive
deep into a major courtesy of a straight sets win over Slovenia’s Zidansek.
‘I would love to go further and to get more,’ she said after the 7-5 6-3 win. ‘I’m happy, but
I still focused and I feel like I can do better maybe. That’s what I want at least.