Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has the opportunity to finally realise the potential she showed many years back as a top youngster. The Russian, a two time Australian Open Girls Singles champion, has not had a bad career by any means but a current career high of No.13 may well have been seen as a disappointment 10 years ago. She has a very winnable match against the American Danielle Collins. Check out the Pavlyuchenkova vs Collins stats.
Collins has had to fight hard to get this far with three wins over top 20 seeds on her way to the quarter finals. However, the manner in which she took apart a disgruntled Angelique Kerber was something that nobody at all will have seen coming. She dropped just 2 games in a 6-0 6-2 victory, crushing the No.2’s serve throughout and picking up six breaks for her hard work. “From the very first point, I showed her that I wasn’t going to let her into the match, that I was going to dictate the entire way through.” she said. “I stuck to my game plan. It clearly worked out well for me. Pretty much smooth sailing throughout the entire thing. I was just feeling really great.”
It was lining up to be an all-American quarter final when Sloane Stephens was cruising early on against Pavlyuchenkova but the Russian fought back from a set down to win 4-6 6-3 6-3. She was really beginning to feel it in the decider and brushed off an opening return game that saw her blow 8 break points, going on to break next time round on her way to a double break lead. The often inconsistent Russian put together a strong set of attacking tennis, proving why she had been so highly rated previously.
Pavlyuchenkova has made the quarter finals in every slam but is 0-4 at this stage. A match against an unseeded American, even in form, has to be seen as a huge opportunity for her. The winner will play Petra Kvitova or Ashleigh Barty in the semi finals. While Kvitova will be the favourite, this draw represents a huge opportunity for all four women to make the final.
Prediction – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets