Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia reached her maiden Grand Slam Final at the French Open on Thursday, defeating unseeded Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 6-3.
Pavlyuchenkova, 29, seeded 31st and is competing in her 52nd major competition and her 14th French Open. She had gone 0-6 in major quarterfinals before finally overcoming it on Tuesday, and she was more steady than Zidansek in their semi-final.
It is only the second time in the professional era when four first-time Grand Slam women semifinalists appeared in a major tournament firstly it happened in 1978 in the Australian Open.
For much of the first set, the 85th-ranked Zidansek, who became the first Slovenian woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal this week, was a superior player, moving effectively and hitting more aggressive groundstrokes.
However, the dependable Pavlyuchenkova won the crucial points, and Zidansek lost the set after serving a series of weak serves into the net. Pavlyuchenkova served effectively, and her groundstrokes had more sting in the second set, as she raced to a 4-1 lead.
Her first tremors surfaced when she double-faulted twice, including on breakpoint, to make it 4-3, but she quickly recovered and served out the match.
For the first time since January 2018, Pavlyuchenkova, who has won 12 Tour titles, will return to the Top 20 next week