Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova progressed to her second Grand Slam quarter-final this year with a hard fought victory over Francesca Schiavone, 5-7 6-3 6-4. I watched the third set, which was an intriguing encounter. After an early exchange of breaks, both players held serve throughout the set. Schiavone was the more creative player as she moved Pav around the court and came into the net at the earliest opportunity; however she also made some sloppy errors as opposed to Pav who was very solid from the back of the court today.
After five successive holds, Schiavone served to stay in the match at 5-4 down. Pavlyuchenkova stepped up her game hitting some powerful returns with excellent depth to earn two match points. She played them both poorly – the first one Schiavone played a ropey looking drop shot but Pav hit a weak backhand volley into the net. The second one she hit a tight return into the net. Schiavone then served a double fault and gave Pav another chance to finish it off. This time she did so showing her talent with a sensational forehand down-the-line. I thought Pav played a smart match but still showed some real frailties on the 2nd serve. She is such a talented player and if she could work on her weaknesses (the serve and her fitness), she would easily be a permanent fixture in the top 10 because she is so talented. After the match, Greg Rusedski said on Sky Sports that she is supposedly going on a boot camp after the US Open to improve her fitness… good idea 🙂
Pavlyuchenkova will play Serena Williams in the Quarters who beat Ana Ivanovic, 6-3 6-4. Ivanovic gave a good account of herself in the windy conditions on Ashe but Serena was too consistent. It will be an interesting quarter final between Serena and Pavlyuchenkova; Pav has the game from the back to court to keep up with Serena but unfortunately the serve is very fragile at the moment and Serena will bludgeon it for sure!