French Open: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova knocks out third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka
Women's world number three Aryna Sabalenka has been knocked out of the 2021 French Open. Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova trounced her 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 after an intense third-round battle. Sabalenka, who won the Madrid Open earlier this year, had made a promising start to her Roland Garros campaign by winning the first two rounds. However, the ruthless Pavlyuchenkova has ended her campaign.
How did the match pan out?
Sabalenka comfortably won the first three games in the opening set. However, Pavlyuchenkova broke her serve twice to win the set. The former gained momentum in the following set, having won 6-2 from 2-2. Although Pavlyuchenkova took a medical time-out after the second set, she didn't lose her focus. She reeled off the first five games in quick succession before winning the match point.
Sabalenka loses her third clay-court match this season
Sabalenka has lost her third clay-court match this season. The 23-year-old now has a win-loss record of 13-3 on clay. Notably, Sabalenka had defeated Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in the Madrid Open semi-finals this year. The former is now 27-8 in the season.
Pavlyuchenkova through to fourth round for the second time
In the match, Pavlyuchenkova converted 5 out of 10 break points, and fired 22 winners against 16 unforced errors. The 29-year-old has proceeded to the fourth round of Roland Garros for the first time since 2011, and just the second time in her career. She will next face former world number one Victoria Azarenka, who defeated Madison Keys 6-2, 6-2.
A stunning victory for Pavlyuchenkova
Elena Rybakina thrashes Elena Vesnina in third round
Pavlyuchenkova's doubles partner, Elena Rybakina, claimed a one-sided victory in the third round on Friday. The 21st-seeded Kazakh defeated Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-4 in mere 63 minutes. She has made the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career. Rybakina is set to face either Serena Williams or Danielle Collins in the last 16 clash.