Herbert & Mahut claim second Roland Garros doubles title

France claimed the Men’s Doubles title on Saturday when Pierre-Hughes Herbert & Nicolas Mahut defeated Alexander Bublik & Andrey Golubev from Kazakstan, 4-6 7-6(1) 6-4, to become the first all-French team to win twice at the clay-court major since World War...

Krejcikova bags French Open title

It was nip and tuck but, at the last, it was unseeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova who hoisted the French Open trophy aloft after a 3-set victory over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the No 31 seed, in the final at Roland Garros on Saturday.

Konta steps into her third straight Nottingham final

British No.1 Johanna Konta has reached her third consecutive final at the LTA’s Viking Open Nottingham after defeating Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic 6-2 6-7(2) 7-5 in two-hours and 53-minutes.

Swiatek and Krejcikova to meet in Paris Doubles Final

Iga Swiatek may have lost her singles crown at Roland Garros but she has her eyes firmly set on taking home the French Open doubles title with her partner, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, but the pair will have to navigate past Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, who...

Nadal is brought down in classic

Two classic semi-finals and a change of heart by the French pandemic authorities, a boisterous crowd and excellent weather all helped to ensure that the French Open, the second grand slam of the season, reached its Sunday climax with the appropriate fanfare

Sue Barker awarded CBE

Sue Barker has been awarded a CBE in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to sport, broadcasting and charity.

Konta through to third straight Nottingham semi-final

Johanna Konta is safely through to her third consecutive Viking Open Nottingham semi-final after defeating eighth seed Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3 7-6(6), having reached the final in her last two visits to the Nottingham Tennis Centre in 2017 and 2018.

Evans loses in last eight.

In the Viking Nottingham Open Challeneger event, the top seed from Birmingham Dan Evans was pipped to the post in his quarterfinal against No.6 seed Denis Kudla falling 6-4 1-6 6-4 after two=hours and two-minutes.

Salisbury & Krawczyk win French Mixed Doubles title

Britain’s Joe Salisbury teamed up with American Desirae Krawczyk to win the French Open mixed doubles title on Thursday at Roland Garros, marking his second Grand Slam triumph.

Krejcikova outlasts Sakkari to reach Paris final

Barbora Krejcikova held her nerve to see off a match point and a controversial line call to advance to the French Open final after upsetting Maria Sakkari, the No 17 seed from Greece, 7-5 4-6 9-7, in a 3 hour 18 marathon semi-final battle.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Pavlyuchenkova makes Paris final

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the No 34 seed from Russia, has made it into the final of the French Open at the age of 29, having beaten Tamara Zidansek, 7-5 6-3, in the semi-finals on Thursday in what is her 52nd appearance at a Grand Slam.

Definitely it was a bit tougher because you think, 'Okay, I'm ranked higher, whatever'. For both of us, it was the first semi-final. It definitely was a lot of mental game going on there, for sure. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

“Fourteen-year-old me would tell me: ‘What took you so long?'” Pavlyuchenkova quipped with a smile after her win.

At the age of 14 in 2006, Pavlyuchenkova served notice of her considerable potential by winning the girls’ singles at the Australian Open and US Open and taking her to the junior World No 1 ranking before making her professional Grand Slam debut as a wild card at Wimbledon in 2007.

Now she has become the first female player to contest more than 50 major events before reaching a first final.

Pavlyuchenkova had already achieved a first by reaching the semi-finals after falling short in the last eight of a Grand Slam on 6 prior occasions.

The No 31 seed, however, maintained her composure in the biggest match of her career, seeing off Zidansek, the World No 85 from Slovenia in 94 minutes.

“It’s been a long road,” Pavlyuchenkova admitted. “I had my own long special road. Everybody has different ways. I’m just happy I’m in the final. I would love to go further and to get more.

“I’m happy but I am still focused and I feel like I can do better. I am definitely trying to soak this in and enjoy as much as possible this very special moment.”

Pavlyuchenkova has won 12 titles on the WTA Tour a, most recently in Strasbourg in 2018, and reached a career-high ranking of 13 in 2011 but, curiously, she has not produced the consistency required to get past the quarters.

A run to the semi-finals of the Madrid Open gave her a timely confidence boost last month, and she has carried that form on to the clay at Roland Garros, becoming the first Russian woman to contest a major final since the now-retired Maria Sharapova at the 2015 Australian Open.

“I definitely didn’t expect to be in the final,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “I was just there working hard, doing everything possible.

“I just said to myself, ‘You know what, this year let’s do whatever it takes, anything you can do to improve your game and mentality’.

“I started working with a sports psychologist. I just wanted to give it a try so I have no regrets after.

“I had a lot of doubts because I could beat top-ten players and make the quarter-finals of a major, but then it wouldn’t happen. It was just up and down in terms of results. It was tough to deal with.

“Those little puzzles were not coming together every time. I guess maybe I had a lot of expectations, as well, that I couldn’t deal with over the years. It’s been a lot of different things.”

It seems all the pieces of the puzzle have now finally come together in Paris.

Tamara Zidansek had a dream run in Paris but couldn't get past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at Roland Garros

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Unflappable on court, the Russian, who now lives in Nice, defeated No 3 seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 2-6 6-0 in the third round, which she followed up with a three-set win over two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka.

After her win over Zidansek, there was no show of any outward celebration, not even a hint of a smile until later when reality slipped in to her weary brain.

Zidansek was the outsider in the unexpected final four, none of whom had ever stood on this stage at a Grans Slam before.

Ranked 85, the 23-year-old had won a tense battle with Spain’s Paula Badosa in the quarters, holding her nerve when it counted.

At the get-go she looked the better composed but Pavlyuchenkova began to make her big strikes count and moved into a 5-3 lead, but the Russian failed to serve out the set and Zidansek scored the break back after pulling off an outrageous backhand overhead winner off the frame that clipped the baseline.

An untimely double-fault from the Slovenian, however, then handed the set over.

Pavlyuchenkova was always ahead in the second, and held it together with the finish line in sight, clinching her first match point when Zidansek drilled a backhand wide.

She took a deep breath before allowing herself a satisfied smile as she tried to take in her achievement.

Pavlyuchenkova had struck a tournament-leading 155 winners coming into the semi-finals, but it was Zidansek who was more determined to get on the front foot with 27 winners to Pavlyuchenkova’s 19.

“Definitely it was a bit tougher because you think, ‘Okay, I’m ranked higher, whatever,'” said Pavlyuchenkova. “For both of us, it was the first semi-final.

“It definitely was a lot of mental game going on there, for sure.”

Complications in closing out the match were to be expected, with Pavlyuchenkova going up a break three times in the second set, only for Zidansek to peg her back twice, the second of which featured two Russian double-faults.

Zidansek was unable to regain any momentum, committing 33 unforced errors to Pavlyuchenkova’s 22, two enabling Pavlyuchenkova to serve for the match and, this time, there was no hesitation as she sealed a long-awaited dream.

“Playing that last game I was serving for [the match], I was totally in my zone, focusing, ‘I’m here right now. I know what I have to do’,” Pavlyuchenkova said.

“At the end of the day, I tried to stay in the match every point,” the Russian added. “I had my tactic, I knew what I had to do.

“So just the discipline. I was trying to follow the discipline simply.”

Barbora Krejcikova (L) saved a match point against Maria Sakkari before going on to win her place in the French Open final on Thursday

© Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Pavlyuchenkova now plays Barbora Krejcikova, who earned the chance to become the first French Open women’s singles champion from the Czech Republic since Hana Mandlikova in 1981 by coming through a thrilling battle lasting 3hr 18min against Maria Sakkari from Greece.

The World No 33 saved a match point and then needed 5 of her own to eventually overcome the No 17 seed, 7-5 4-6 9-7.

There was drama in the final game when Krejcikova, 25, thought she had converted her 4th match point after a Sakkari groundstroke was called out but, despite television replays suggesting that the ball was indeed long, the umpire forced the point to be replayed after deeming the ball mark caught the line.

Controversy was avoided, however, when Krejcikova brushed it off and moved on to seal her victory a few minutes later.

“I always wanted to play a match like this when I was younger,” Krejcikova said. “It was such a challenging match.

“We both had our chances and were playing so well. Only one could win. Even if I had lost, I would have been very proud of myself. The most important thing is to fight every time.”



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.