Pavlyuchenkova beats Zvonareva at French Open

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reaches the semi-final of the French Open.

Paris: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova knocked out the highest seeded player remaining in the women`s draw at the French Open, beating No. 3 Vera Zvonareva 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2 on Sunday to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.

Pavlyuchenkova, at 19 the youngest player still in the tournament, won the final five games after having her serve broken early in the third set.

The third-seeded Zvonareva followed No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 2 Kim Clijsters out of the tournament. They both lost in the third round. Fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is now the highest seeded player left.
"I`m just trying to do my thing, focusing on me. ... The rest, I don`t really care," Pavlyuchenkova said, referring to the latest upset of a top contender.

It is only the third time that none of the top three seeded women has reached the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam in the Open era, which began in 1968, and the first time at the French Open. It also happened at Wimbledon in 2008 — when the top four were eliminated by the end of the fourth round — and at the Australian Open in 1997.

Also Sunday, Novak Djokovic puts his perfect season on the line, while 2009 French Open champion Roger Federer plays Davis Cup teammate Stanislas Wawrinka. On the women`s side, Schiavone and No. 10 Jelena Jankovic are scheduled to be in action.

Zvonareva reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals last year and the Australian Open semifinals in January. She saved two match points in the final game against Pavlyuchenkova before hitting a forehand long on the third.
"Well, that`s, I guess, part of the game. I know what I have to work on and what I have to improve," said Zvonareva, who saved a match point in the second round before advancing. "Of course when you play less than 50 percent of your potential, it`s very tough to win the fourth round of a Grand Slam."

For the 14th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova, the result is her best at a Grand Slam tournament. Previously, she reached the fourth round at least year`s U.S. Open.

"She (Zvonareva) was up with a break, so I think maybe in the past or last year I wouldn`t believe I can win this match against that top player," Pavlyuchenkova said. "This time I think that was the main key."

Bureau Report

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