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Krejcikova, Pavlyuchenkova reach French Open final

Krejcikova, Pavlyuchenkova reach French Open final
June 11, 2021

PARIS (Reuters) – Czech Barbora Krejcikova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached the French Open final on Thursday.

Czech Barbora Krejcikova beat Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 9-7, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached a Grand Slam final in her 52nd appearance after beating Slovenia's Tamara Zidansek in straight sets.

Krejcikova dragged herself back from the brink of facing a match point at 3-5 in the third set and then rode an emotional roller coaster. She recomposed herself, however, and eventually put the marathon contest to bed after three hours and 18 minutes.

The world number 33 had struggled with nerves throughout but proved more consistent than Sakkari, who got tight when she served for the match at 5-4 in the third set when both players finally raised their game.

Krejcikova will face Russian 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who will also be making her maiden appearance in a major singles final, on Saturday. She will be looking to emulate fellow Czech Hana Mandlikova, who won the title at Roland Garros in 1981.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won the Australian Open junior title in 2006, aged 14, it looked as though it would not be long before she would emulate the likes of Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova and start winning Grand Slams.

No other woman has taken so many attempts to reach a Grand Slam final, the previous highest number being the 44 it took Italian Roberta Vinci before she reached the 2015 US Open final.

That is not to say the 29-year-old Pavlyuchenkova's career has been a let-down, after all she has 12 WTA titles to her name and has banked more than $10 million in prize money.