2021 French Open, Tuesday QF Highlights: Pavs & Zidansek prevail in extra time thrillers

After Monday’s rather disappointing slate of one-sided matches, Tuesday’s matches were at the other end of the spectrum as both women’s quarter-finals went the distance and were decided in extra-time. Read on for Tuesday’s diary in Paris as the semi-final for the bottom half of the French Open draw was set.

Day 1️⃣0️⃣ Highlights

Tamara Zidansek d. (33) Paula Badosa, 7-5 4-6 8-6

This was one wild ride. The first set was good. Middle of the second set to the middle third set was dreadful. The conclusion of the third set was brilliant with both players significantly raising their level. Zidansek had a chance to close this match out at 7-5 4-2 as an increasingly ragged Badosa lost all rhythm on serve. Zidansek, who had been aggressive with her forehand, went into her shell and rather flamed out as Badosa reeled off six games on the trot.

Zidansek rediscovered her first set level in the third set and it was neck-and-neck. At 6-6, arguably the game of the entire day, Zidansek saved three break points to hold. In such a high-pressure moment, Zidansek didn’t shy away and saved two of those break points with fantastic forehand winners. Zidansek’s willingness to go for the forehand, in stark contrast to the end of the second set, was probably the difference in the end.

Tough result for Badosa having competed so well to get back into contention and then being a point away from serving for the match. I thought Badosa was rushing in her final service game – I was shouting at the screen to slow down! Many had touted Badosa to go deep in the draw after Osaka withdrew which was a lot of pressure to deal with for someone so inexperienced at the Slams. I thought Badosa had a great tournament and she can be very proud of her efforts. I think it’s amazing in these past two French Opens how players are coming along and absolutely shattering their previous records. Zidansek had never won a main draw match at the French Open prior to this year. Now she’s into the final four!

(31) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova d. (21) Elena Rybakina, 6-7(2) 6-2 9-7

Seventh time’s the charm. I’m so thrilled for Pavs who has advanced to her first Slam semi-final. From what I saw of the first two sets and a half, there wasn’t a great deal of rhythm or momentum. The last half an hour was absolutely fantastic as the pair shared some tremendous hard-hitting rallies.

In the third set, Rybakina three times held serve to stay in the tournament. Pavs kept knocking on the door and delivering impressive service holds of her own. In the end, it was a real shame that the match ended on a Rybakina double fault as the Pavs pressure paid off. This has been one hell of a week for Rybakina to break new ground at the Slams by two rounds. Not sure anyone saw this coming pre-tournament. Elena’s time will come. I’ve always felt Pavs deserved a Slam semi-final in her career highlights. A feel-good result to see Pavs finally overcome the quarter-final hurdle.

Super stat 🔢

If at first you don’t succeed…

Best point  🎾

One of those hard-hitting rallies from the third set of Pavs-Rybakina.

Favourite snap 📸


Press musings 📰

Badosa revealed in press that she struggled to overcome her nerves in her quarter-final match against Zidansek.

Recommended media 📺

Great news. Sounding positive for Simona on grass.

Recommended reading 📚

Please take the time to read Taylor’s story.

Day 11 watchlist 📺

(8) Iga Swiatek vs. (17) Maria Sakkari

(24) Coco Gauff vs. Barbora Krejcikova

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8 thoughts on “2021 French Open, Tuesday QF Highlights: Pavs & Zidansek prevail in extra time thrillers

  1. Awesome efforts from Zidansek and Pavs! Disappointed that Rybakina couldn’t quite get there but as you say, there’s plenty of time for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like everything about Paula Badosa including her style of play and her determined attitude and her honesty in post match interviews. I hope that she can continue this form on other surfaces. I think it was her nerves etc and her lack of experience at this level ( I realise it was the same for her opponent who dealt with it better imho ) which cost her this match and she also looked anxious in her match against Marketa Vondtousova. I am hopeful that this experience will have done Paula a lot of good and she can progress further in her tennis career.

    I think that Elena Rybakina has a bright future but Pavs deserved the victory and I think she will go on to reach the final where I am hoping that she will play Iga Swiatek with Iga winning.

    Just to say that I started my free 7 day trial with Eurosport yesterday and I am not impressed and wish that Amazon could somehow obtain coverage of this tournament.


    • Yes, I like Paula’s game too. I think I read in the comments, here, a few days back, about Carla Navarro and her Olympic chances. I understand and appreciate the sentimental value that opportunity carries, but surely, Badosa should be in the conversation too. Really hope she is able to maintain her form through the rest of the season.

      Been cheering for Pavs, more so after she found her game to get past Sabalenka. From here on out, anything and everything can happen. It’s about seizing the day. Fingers crossed!


    • I’ve been using the Eurosport Player this tournament. Couldn’t watch most of the first set of Badosa-Zidansek but otherwise it’s been OK for me this week.


      • I do not really understand these things but I am watching Eurosport via the Amazon section on by BT Box. They do not make it clear which match is taking place on all the different links so I have to click on each link until I find the match that I want to view. Also I realise that Eurosport are not as rich as Amazon and cannot be ad free like Amazon but Eurosport go to their ads ( often the same ads each time ) as quicky as they can during rest periods and often come back after the next game has started. One good thing though is that they do use Jo Durie and she is one of my favourite commentators.


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