Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova recalls her first interaction with Daria Kasatkina



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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova recalls her first interaction with Daria Kasatkina

World No. 12 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova credits her teammates for her good performances at the Billie Jean King Cup. Pavlyuchenkova led Russia to a semifinal berth at the Billie Jean King Cup finals, having beaten Canada's Rebecca Marino and France's Alize Cornet.

“This competition is very different. I have this special energy from my team-mates and from the team on the side. The crowd is more lively, everything is more lively and you have more energy – that’s what’s missing I think when I play individual tournaments,” Pavlyuchenkova said on Wednesday after overcoming Alize Cornet in arguably the match of the week so far.

“Especially I was struggling a lot with the bubble and no crowd. And even now we have a little bit of crowd on tour but still it’s not the same. I miss that atmosphere and I think that’s important for me to have that.

“Yesterday, Dasha [Kasatkina] asked me, ‘Do you mind if I shout?’ and I said, ‘Of course, please go ahead’. I’m the kind of person that needs this energy to play”.

Pavlyuchenkova absolutely loves Kasatkina

Pavlyuchenkova and Kasatkina are leading Russia at this year's Billie Jean King Cup and the two have a strong relationship.

“That was the first time I heard the name ‘Kasatkina’ actually. I knew she was a young Russian, up-and-coming player; she’s actually almost from where I am from. I was born in Samara and she’s from a city that is one hour away.

And I was like, okay, I’ve never heard about this girl but let’s see,” recalls Pavlyuchenkova. “So I beat her in a tough match in the semi-finals and I remember when we were shaking hands at the net, she was so open.

Normally girls when they lose they’re just so grumpy or they barely shake your hand, and she was so open and so friendly and I just thought, ‘Wow, that’s amazing; at that early age, when you lose such a tough match, she was still so respectful’, and I still remember that”.