Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova broke through to the quarterfinals of the women’s singles at the Olympics, beating the talented Spaniard Sorribes-Tormo and is already one step away from winning a medal! Pavlyuchenkova was not stopped even by the rain that hit Tokyo.
The open court matches began and then were interrupted with the drizzling rain. But for Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, it may have been a relief as she suffered heatstroke in the first round in the extreme heat. After winning the second round, Anastasia admitted that she is still not feeling her best and is struggling with the aftermath of that stroke. Curiously, despite her poor health, Pavlyuchenkova had won her first two matches by a combined score of three games.
Anastacia was facing the Spaniard Sara Sorribes-Tormo in the last eight, although she was going to face the world No.1 Ashley Bartee, who was knocked out by Sara at the start of the tournament. Previously, Pavlyuchenkova and Sorribes-Tormo met three times, and the Russian lost only once – in Charleston 2015. And in the next two meetings, Anastasia won – at Roland Garros 2016 and Mallorca 2017.
As in the two previous rounds Pavlyuchenkova went on the attack from the very first minutes of the match, crushed her opponent with the tempo and quickly led 4-0. In the first set the Russian allows the Spaniard to take only one game – 6-1 in 34 minutes of pure time. In the second set, the 4th game turned out to be very stubborn, in which Anastasia was able to take the opponent’s serve only from the 7th break point and again lead 4: 0. But after that, the Russian woman had a slight failure. Sara played one break, then took her serve – 4: 2 and grabbed Pavlyuchenkova’s serve. At this moment, the heat and stuffiness were already rolling in, Pavlyuchenkova understood that it was impossible to drag out the meeting. So when the Russian saved a breakpoint, 5-2, she screamed with joy and was able to take the match to victory – 6-1, 6-3 in an hour and a half of play.
The fight for medals goes on
Russian tennis player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova commented on reaching the quarterfinals of the Olympics in her interview to “Sport-Express“.
During the break there were no fears that the match would have to be postponed to another day?
There were not. These are things you cannot control. We were warned that a typhoon was coming, they said that today’s matches wouldn’t take place at all. Shamil Tarpischev said that! I was absolutely sure I wasn’t going to play. I was very relaxed the whole evening. It’s good that I hadn’t gone to the store yet. I decided to look at the schedule and found out about my match this morning. But then I remembered again about the rain, so I calmed down. As a result, the weather was fine in the morning, so I had to switch and tune in to the match.
Will you be competing in a mixed event as a result?
How will you compete at the same time?
I’ll have two events, it doesn’t bother me.
Your first opponents will be the Croats. What do you think of them?
I can’t say I have much experience in mixed doubles. I know them individually. They are purely doubles players, so I don’t even know what to say. We’ll set ourselves up to win.
Who are you waiting for in your next singles match?
There is no one that is better. I`ll be the same against everybody. At the Olympics all the competitors are equally good. I have a special motivation against Bencic too. I want to beat everybody!
Today Osaka was unexpectedly knocked out of the tournament. How serious can the Olympics be?
Exactly it can. Even before the Games, I was saying that the Olympics is almost like the Fed Cup. The Olympics have a special atmosphere, anything can happen here. The last Games were won by Monique Puig, who did not shine anywhere else.
I had a feeling that it was not easy in the second set today. How did it feel?
You had to work hard in the first set, too. The guys were joking about the score, too, that it all looked pretty easy. But in reality, I was working at 150 percent from the first ball. That’s why I got a little tired in the second set and gave my opponent the opportunity to play a little better and more actively.
How much did the postponement of the match due to the bad weather knock you out?
It knocked me out a little bit because I was going like a train. I had a great attitude and felt really good on the court, led 3-0 in the set and 30-0 in the game. I made only two or three mistakes in those games. When I came out after the break, the sun came out and the heat came back. It took some time to adjust, I was a little more sluggish.
The weather was better in the morning but was my body ready for an active game?
In general, I hate playing the first matches. Here I was put first three times in a row. Gradually the clock inside me gets used to it, I don’t have any problems. But in general I’m not a morning person, I don’t like to wake up so early.
|Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova||Sara Sorribes-Tormo|
|1st Serve Percentage||71%||81%|
|1st Serve Points Won||83%||51%|
|Break Points Saved||1/2||12/17|
|Break Points Converted||5/17||1/2|
The next opponent is from Switzerland
In the next round of competition, the Russian tennis player will play against Belinda Bencic from Switzerland, who outplayed the last Roland Garros winner, Barbora Krejcikova 1/6,6/2,6/3.
The Swiss has beaten Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova four times in six official matches (2-2 on hard court). The last time they played against each other in 2020 in Dubai, where the Russian was stronger.