Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova pulled off an upset in the second round of the Strasbourg International on Wednesday. The 31-year-old defeated the no. 1 seed Magda Linette 6-3, 6-2 in merely 90 minutes. Pavlyuchenkova, currently ranked 424th in the world, won 72% of her first-serve points to the Pole’s 60%.
She also won nine of 17 points played on her second serve and 17 of 27 points on return on Linette’s second serve. Pavlyuchenkova lost her serve only once in the match, in the first set. In the second set, she saved the only break point she faced.
She also converted five break points on the 2023 Australian Open semi-finalist’s serve. This is the first time in almost two years that the former world no. 11’s reached the quarter-finals of a WTA event. The 2021 French Open runner-up last reached a WTA quarter-final at the Kremlin Cup in the October of the same year.
Strasbourg International: Elina Svitolina marches on
Now, the 2018 Strasbourg champion will play seventh seed Lauren Davis for a semi-final spot. The American took a little over two hours to come through against Viktoriya Tomova.
Davis won 75% of her first-serve points and 46% of her second-serve points. She saved three of five break points she faced while converting four of eight break points that came her way on the Bulgarian’s serve. Sixth seed Varvara Gracheva also advanced to the quarter-finals of the French tournament.
Gracheva beat the only other home player remaining in the draw, Selena Janicijevic in their round-of-16 clash. After 71 minutes, Gracheva prevailed 6-2, 6-1. The world no. 44 won 77% of her first-serve points and 75% of her second-serve points.
She didn’t face any break point and converted five of 10 break points she had on the Frenchwoman’s serve. Lastly, another past champion at the Strasbourg International, Elina Svitolina also advanced to the quarters of the 2023 edition.
The Ukrainian received a walkover from Kiwi lucky loser, Erin Routliffe ahead of their second-round match. As with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, this quarterfinal’s been a first in a long time for the 28-year-old. Svitolina’s last quarter-final at a WTA event came at the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, in 2022.