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French Open 2021: Pavlyuchenkova Returns to Quarters a Decade on, Badosa in 1st Slam Last 8

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (L) and Paula Badosa (Photo Credit: French Open Twitter)

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (L) and Paula Badosa (Photo Credit: French Open Twitter)

French Open 2021: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated 15th seed Victoria Azarenka while Paula Badosa overcame Marketa Vondrousova to make the quarter-finals.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova came from a set down on Sunday to beat Victoria Azarenka 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 and reach her first French Open quarter-final since 2011. The Russian 31st seed broke former world number one Azarenka eight times to advance to her seventh Grand Slam quarter-final. She will play Serena Williams or Elena Rybakina for a place in the last four. “It’s really incredible I’m still playing tennis 10 years later," said Pavlyuchenkova, who turns 30 next month. “It’s a surprise for me to be here. I fought for each ball and each point and played very well."

Pavlyuchenkova, who lost to eventual runner-up Francesca Schiavone here a decade ago, matched her best run at a major.

She has made the last eight at all four Slams, including three of the past five Australian Opens.

She knocked out Aryna Sabalenka, the highest-ranked player left in the draw, in the previous round to avenge a semi-final loss to the Belarusian in Madrid.

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BADOSA MAKES 1ST SLAM QUARTER-FINAL

Spain’s Paula Badosa reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final on Sunday by defeating Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in three sets.

Badosa, the 33rd seed, saw off the 2019 runner-up 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 and will take on Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia for a place in the semi-finals.

The 23-year-old, a former junior champion at Roland Garros, is this season’s best performing clay court player.

She now has 17 wins against just two losses on the surface, a run which includes the Belgrade clay court title on the eve of the French Open.

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