French Open 2021: Tamara Zidansek, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova emerge victorious, will play a grandslam semifinal for the first time

Tamara Zidansek and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won their respective quarterfinal matches at the 2021 French Open to march into the Last 4.

Tamara Zidansek, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Tamara Zidansek

The quarterfinals from the bottom half of the women’s draw lived upto expectation as both the matches went down the distance. Tamara Zidansek and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Paula Badosa and Elena Rybakina respectively in three sets to reach their maiden grand slam semifinal.

Tamara Zidansek overcame a gutsy challenge from Spaniard Paula Badosa, becoming the first Slovenian woman to reach a grand slam semifinal. Zidansek beat the 33rd seed and in form Paula Badosa in a 3-set epic 7-5,4-6,8-6 in almost 2.5 hours. The opening match of the day saw as many as 15 breaks of serve on both sides.

Zidansek won the tightly fought first set 7-5 before losing the next won 4-6 to a pumped up Badosa. The players displayed aggressive tennis and didn’t let their guard down at any point of time.

The Slovenian was even given an informal warning by the umpire for getting coaching from her team up in the stands but she recovered to break back, the 14th break of the match, before levelling the set at 3-3 in the third set. At 6-6, the set would go on until wither player wins two consecutive games. But Zidansek broke serve right away to win the final set 8-6. Before the tournament, she hadn’t made past the second round at a grand slam but now has managed to make it to the Last 4.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova topples Elena Rybakina

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The long wait for Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is finally over! After 50 attempts and 10 years of fighting, the Russian has finally managed to reach the semifinal stage of a grand slam. She defeated first timer Elena Rybakina in a three set epic 6-7(2),6-2,9-7. 

The Kazakh took the first set in a tie-breaker, dominating it and was looking in complete control because of her powerful baseline gameplay. But Pavlyuchenkova stepped her game up like a champion and won the next set comfortably 6-2.

The Russian played very well in the third set but was finding it difficult to break Rybakina’s serve. Just like in her win against Serena Williams, Rybakina was displaying very good forehand gameplay, and was taking the ball early on bounce. After a prolonged set, Pavlyuchenkova finally broke to take the set 9-7.

Zidansek and Pavlyuchenkova, both first timers will now lock horns in the semifinals of Thursday.

Also read: Leo Borg, son of Bjorn Borg wins his first junior Grandslam match at French Open 2021