Pavlyuchenkova keeps winning

The Russian qualified for the quarter-finals, proving again here that she’s back on track.

She didn’t collapse under pressure. Like during her previous round against Karolina Pliskova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova kept her nerves together until the finish line. On Monday she qualified for her third quarter-final at the Australian Open after a thriller against Angelique Kerber (6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-2).

Sure, she could have done it faster as she was up 5-2 in the first set, and had two set points a 5-4 and one at 6-5 in the second set. But instead of this match turning into another missed opportunity, “Nastia” closed it out eventually. She kept going after her shos, she kept her focus, she got her anger and stress under control, and she served for it.

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After the match point, no huge celebration: just a fist pump to her box and her coach Sam Sumyk. Pavlyuchenkova knows how Grand Slam quarter-finals are tasting, so now she only cares about getting her first semi-final before her first trophy. An incredibly quick change of mindset that could lead to not only a great season but to, finally, the unlocking of her full potential. And as tennis loves drama: she will now face Garbine Muguruza, Sumyk’s former pupil, for that spot into the last four. Popcorn ready.

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