French Open: Zidansek, Pavlyuchenkova storm into quarter-finals

By: Reuters | Paris |

Updated: June 6, 2021 6:42:35 pm

Tamara Zidansek celebrates winning her French Open fourth round match. (Reuters)

Tamara Zidansek became the first woman from Slovenia to reach the singles quarter-finals of a Grand Slam on Sunday with a 7-6(4) 6-1 victory over unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea at the French Open.

The pair traded breaks in the first two games of a tight opening set on Court Suzanne Lenglen before Zidansek raised her level in the tiebreak to take the advantage in the match when an error-prone Cirstea hit a wild forehand wide.

History made 🇸🇮🇸🇮🇸🇮

Tamara Zidansek becomes the first women from Slovenia to make the final 8 at a Grand Slam. The world No.85 charges past Sorana Cirstea in straight-sets 7-6(4), 6-1. #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/A3xQqVLpG8

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 6, 2021

World number 85 Zidansek had never been beyond the second round at a Grand Slam before this year’s tournament in Paris but it was 2009 Roland Garros quarter-finalist Cirstea who showed signs of nerves at the start of the second set.

The 23-year-old Zidansek became more aggressive as Cirstea struggled to move freely because of an ankle issue and raced ahead 5-0 before closing out the victory in 86 minutes.

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Zidansek will face Spain’s Paula Badosa in the last eight.

Grand Slam QF debut 🔜@paulabadosa‘s success on clay continues, overcoming 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The No.33 seed meets Zidansek next. #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/7VXsP6MH2g

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 6, 2021

Pavlyuchenkova rolls back the years in Paris to reach last eight

Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova rolled back the years as she reached the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time since 2011 by beating former world number one Victoria Azarenka 5-7 6-3 6-2 on Sunday.

The 31st seed, who will play in the last eight of a Grand Slam for the seventh time but has never progressed further, sent down 44 winners in a display of constant aggression on a sun-kissed Philippe Chatrier court.

Turning back the clock ⏰@nastiapav storms back to defeat Azarenka 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 and reach the quarters at #RolandGarros for the first time in a decade! 👏 pic.twitter.com/gpY9hnmYT1

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 6, 2021

She will next face either 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams or Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.

“It’s incredible that I’m still playing tennis 10 years after, so it comes as a bit of a surprise to me. I fought on every point and I’m really happy to go through,” said Pavlyuchenkova.

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