After going 0-6 in Slam QFs, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova finally wins 1

Getty Images

PARIS — Don’t get Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova wrong: Of course she’s happy to finally make it to her first Grand Slam semifinal at age 29 after going 0-6 in major singles quarterfinals – and 0-5 in doubles quarterfinals – until now.

Just understand that she is not satisfied with how far she has made it so far at the French Open.

“Still matches to go through,” she said. “Still work to be done.”

The 31st-seeded Pavlyuchenkova will make her debut in the final four of a Slam in her 52nd appearance at one after edging her doubles partner, Elena Rybakina, 6-7 (2), 6-2, 9-7.

The whole thing took more than 2 1/2 hours, and Pavlyuchenkova needed to recover from a fall early in the second set that left her back caked with clay and then overcome being a break down in the third.

“Unreal match,” said Pavlyuchenkova, who credits coaching help from her brother and working with a sports psychologist with helping her on-court progress of late.

On Thursday, she will face another first-time major semifinalist: 85th-ranked Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia.

Zidansek also needed the tennis equivalent of overtime to get through the quarterfinals Tuesday – the French Open is the only Grand Slam event that doesn’t use final-set tiebreakers in singles – eliminating No. 33 seed Paula Badosa 7-5, 4-6, 8-6.

“It feels overwhelming,” said Zidansek, a junior national champion as a snowboarder.

She called her first-round victory over 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu “a big breakthrough for me; I got a lot of confidence from that.”

Rybakina, who was seeded 21st, had eliminated 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the fourth round.

But Rybakina’s steadiness in that match was not as present against Pavlyuchenkova, with whom she is scheduled to team up in the doubles quarterfinals Wednesday.

There were a record half-dozen first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalists in the women’s bracket, including Zidansek, Barbosa, Rybakina and a trio on Wednesday’s schedule: 17-year-old American Coco Gauff, Barbora Krejcikova and Maria Sakkari. Gauff plays Krejcikova, and Sakkari faces 2020 champion Iga Swiatek.


The easing of coronavirus-related restrictions means fans will be able to attend the French Open’s final night session of this year’s tournament on Wednesday, featuring a men’s quarterfinal between Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini.

It also means more folks can be in the stands at Court Philippe Chatrier.

The changes include shifting a curfew – one that forces spectators to leave Roland Garros – from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. And tournament organizers also moved the start of the night session up an hour to 8 p.m.; the last match of each day’s scheduled had been beginning at 9 p.m.

Another difference Wednesday: Up to 5,000 fans will be allowed inside the main stadium for the final five days of the tournament.

Previously, only 1,000 spectators were permitted inside Chatrier this year.

A new electronic health pass system will be used to monitor fans as of Wednesday, too.


A week after a narrow first-round French Open loss, Bianca Andreescu split with the coach who helped her win the 2019 U.S. Open championship.

The No. 7-ranked Andreescu posted on social media Tuesday that she and Sylvain Bruneau “have mutually decided to end our incredible coaching relationship.”

They worked together for four years.

Andreescu described him as a “coach, mentor and friend” and also wrote: “Sylvain was more than a coach… he is family.”

At Roland Garros, Andreescu lost 9-7 in the third set in the opening round against Tamara Zidansek, a Slovenian ranked 85th who won Tuesday to reach the semifinals in Paris.

In 2019, Bruneau was there when a 19-year-old Andreescu beat Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final to give Canada its first Grand Slam singles trophy and become the first woman in the professional era to win the title in New York in her main-draw debut.

That was only Andreescu’s fourth appearance in any Grand Slam tournament.

She has dealt with various injuries since and only appeared in two majors – losing in the second round of the Australian Open in February before the narrow loss in Paris.

Mikael Ymer fined about $40K after default for hitting umpire stand with racket

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.

An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.

The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.

The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.

Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.

That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.

After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.

“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”

Debutant Stearns beats former champ Ostapenko to reach French Open 3rd round

Getty Images

PARIS — French Open debutant Peyton Stearns produced the biggest win of her career by defeating former champion Jelena Ostapenko to reach the third round at Roland Garros.

Stearns, a former player at the University of Texas, only turned professional in June last year.

Ostapenko won the 2017 French Open but has since failed to advance past the 3rd round. The 17th-seeded Latvian dropped her serve five times against Stearns and hit 28 unforced errors in her 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 loss.

The 21-year-old Stearns has been climbing the WTA rankings and entered the French Open at No. 69 on the back of an encouraging clay-court campaign.

Third-seeded Jessica Pegula also advanced after Camila Giorgi retired due to injury. The American led 6-2 when her Italian rival threw in the towel.

Only hours after husband Gael Monfils won a five-set thriller, Elina Svitolina rallied past qualifier Storm Hunter 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

In the men’s bracket, former runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas ousted Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2. The fifth-seeded Greek was a bit slow to find his range and was made to work hard for two sets but rolled on after he won the tiebreaker.

No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and No. 3 Novak Djokovic are on court later. Alcaraz meets Taro Daniel on Court Philippe Chatrier, where Djokovic will follow against Martin Fucsovics in the night session.