On Tuesday, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will battle against Danielle Collins for a spot in the semifinals of the 2019 Australian Open. It’s an unlikely match up, as neither player was seen as a big threat to make it this far. However, what’s more surprising is that no one has been paying much attention the Russian, despite her beating two top ten players to reach the quarterfinals.
Pavlyuchenkova’s tournament so far
The Russian has reached the quarterfinal of every Slam and has proved to be a big danger. She started off the tournament with a straight sets win over Monica Puig. However, it was in her next few matches that she looked so impressive. She pulled off an upset over Kiki Bertens, a player who only just recently joined the top ten. Then, she continued with a dominating victory over the tricky Belorussian Sasnovich.
On Sunday, she continued to play at such a high level, defeating Sloane Stephens in a very close match. However, Pavlyuchenkova completed the win at 1.52 am, which has completely put her under the radar. It’s a similar case to Garbine Muguruza’s win over Johanna Konta–it was one of the best matches of the tournament, yet it finished so late that barely anyone could watch it. It’s a shame that all of her hard work has not converted into much attention. The media have not paid her as much attention as they have to the seven other quarterfinalists, and it is unfair to be ignored so much.
Now, the 27-year-old will return to the quarterfinals for the second time in three years. She will take on a fellow shock in Collins, in what will surely be a close match. Despite the similar run, Collins will go into this match with a lot more attention, having dominated Angelique Kerber in a much more high-profile match.
Although there is a massive contrast between the two, this may actually benefit Pavlyuchenkova. The more experienced player will go into this match without as much pressure as the American. Both players will be looking to make their first ever Major semifinal, but it’s the World #44 who will surely be the least nervous of the two, knowing that her opponent has never made it this deep into any professional tournament before.
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