D.he Russian Anastasia Pawljutschenkowa and Barbora Krejcikova from the Czech Republic contest the surprise final at the French Open. The 29-year-old Pavlyuchenkova prevailed on Thursday in Paris against the Slovenian Tamara Zidansek with 7: 5, 6: 3.
Pavlyuchenkova used her first match ball after 1:34 hours. In the final on Saturday she will meet the winner of the second semi-final between the Czech Barbora Krejcikova and the Greek Maria Sakkari.
“It wasn’t easy mentally to play this game. I just tried to stay calm, ”said Pavlyuchenkova after the game. She is the first Russian since Maria Sharapova at the 2015 Australian Open to reach the final of a Grand Slam tournament – and that at her 52nd Grand Slam participation.
Zidansek, who was the first player from Slovenia to reach the semi-finals in one of the four most important tournaments, got off to a better start on the Philippe-Chatrier court and immediately took the Russian’s serve from her. But Pavlyuchenkova remained calm and slowly found her rhythm. After 52 minutes she got the first set.
From then on, the Russian seeded number 31 was the determining player. Zidansek could not build on their previously strong performances and made too many simple mistakes overall. The 23-year-old number 85 in the world came back into the game to make it 3: 4. After that, however, she immediately lost her service again, a little later Pavlyuchenkova made the finals perfect.
The fifth match point is seated
In the second semi-final on Thursday evening, the 25-year-old Barbora Krejcikova beat the number 17 seeded Greek Maria Sakkari 7: 5, 4: 6, 9: 7. After 3:18 high-class hours, she used her fifth match point after she had previously fought off a match point from Sakkari.
Krejcikova and Sakkari delivered a gripping and emotional semi-final. In the first set, both players still had their nerves to do with their nerves at their semifinal premiere at a Grand Slam tournament. There were seven breaks in the first round, in the end the Czech won the first round 7: 5.
But Sakkari was not shocked by this. In the second set she took Krejcikova, who had previously won the tournament in Strasbourg, twice the serve and managed to equalize the set 6-4. In the third sentence it went back and forth. Initially, the momentum was on the side of Sakkari, who was one break ahead for a long time and even had a match point at 5: 4. But the Czech did not give up and stayed in the match.
After she had fought off three match points when the score was 7: 6 and was overruled by the referee in another attempt when the score was 8: 7, she made the final with the fifth match point. Cheering and incredulous, she stretched her arms up to the Parisian sky and could hardly believe her luck.