Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Анастасия Павлюченкова
Pavlyuchenkova WM17 (1) (35379248743).jpg
Pavlyuchenkova at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships
Full name Anastasia Sergeyevna Pavlyuchenkova
Country (sports)  Russia
Residence Moscow, Russia
Born (1991-07-03) 3 July 1991 (age 27)
Samara, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro December 2005
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach Joakim Nystrom
Prize money US$8,618,945
Singles
Career record 388–258 (60.06%)
Career titles 12 WTA, 5 ITF
Highest ranking No. 13 (4 July 2011)
Current ranking No. 28 (10 August 2018)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open QF (2017)
French Open QF (2011)
Wimbledon QF (2016)
US Open QF (2011)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games 2R (2016)
Doubles
Career record 199–141 (58.53%)
Career titles 5 WTA, 8 ITF
Highest ranking No. 21 (16 September 2013)
Current ranking No. 75 (10 September 2018)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open QF (2013)
French Open QF (2013)
Wimbledon QF (2014)
US Open QF (2015, 2018)
Team competitions
Fed Cup 10–11
Hopman Cup 2–4
Last updated on: 10 September 2018.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Medal record
Representing  Russia
Women's Tennis
Universiade
Gold medal – first place 2013 Kazan Doubles

Anastasia Sergeyevna Pavlyuchenkova (Russian: Анастаси́я Серге́евна Павлюче́нкова, pronounced [ɐnəstɐˈsʲijə sʲɪrˈɡʲejɪvnə pəvlʲʉˈtɕɛnkəvə]; born 3 July 1991) is a Russian professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 28 in the world in singles as of September 10, 2018. Having turned professional in December 2005, she has won 12 WTA singles titles, her biggest coming at Premier-level tournaments, the Open GDF Suez and the Kremlin Cup, both in 2014. She achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 13 on 4 July 2011 and is currently the third-highest ranked Russian woman in singles behind Daria Kasatkina and Maria Sharapova. Since making her top-50 debut in November 2008, Pavlyuchenkova has never dropped out of the top-50 rankings, for more than nine years running. She is a four-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, having reached that stage at the 2011 French Open, the 2011 US Open, the 2016 Wimbledon Championships, and the 2017 Australian Open.

Pavlyuchenkova has enjoyed significant success in doubles as well, achieving a career-high ranking of No. 21 on 16 September 2013, reaching the quarterfinals at all four Grand Slams (at the Australian Open in 2013, the French Open in 2013, Wimbledon in 2014, and the US Open in 2015 and 2018) as well as winning five titles in the discipline, her biggest title coming at the 2013 Madrid Open where she partnered Lucie Šafářová.

Early life[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova was born in Samara, RSFSR, Soviet Union, to Sergey and Marina on 3 July 1991, as one of two children. Her father was a rower and her mother a swimmer. Her brother Alexander also played professional tennis for a time. Pavlyuchenkova's grandmother played professional basketball, and her grandfather was an elite umpire in that sport for USSR.[1]

Pavlyuchenkova started playing tennis at age 6, with her parents helping her. Alexander often travels with her and provides hints for her playing.[1]

Career[edit]

2006–2008: Junior success, turning professional and top-50 debut[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova first made headlines in 2006 by winning the Australian Open junior title, defeating Caroline Wozniacki in the final. She reached another junior Grand Slam final at the French Open where she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska. She then won the US Open junior title by beating Tamira Paszek in the final. Her successful career as a junior also saw her reach the world No. 1 ranking on 30 January 2006. She accumulated an overall win-loss of record of 131–23 and 87–22 in singles and doubles respectively.[2] Her success in juniors enabled her to enter ITF and WTA tournaments, winning an ITF event in Italy in May 2006. Five months later, Pavlyuchenkova received a wildcard into her maiden WTA main-draw appearance at the Kremlin Cup. She lost in the first round to rising Czech Nicole Vaidišová in straight sets.

In 2007, Pavlyuchenkova barely missed out on qualifying for the main draw of the Australian Open, losing to Julia Vakulenko in the final round of qualifying. However, she successfully defended her junior title by defeating Madison Brengle in the final. That same year, she received a wildcard into Wimbledon, her maiden Grand Slam appearance, but was overwhelmed by 10th seed Daniela Hantuchová in the first round in forty minutes.

The following year, she entered Wimbledon as the youngest player in the women's draw. She won her first round match against 17th seed Alizé Cornet and went on to defeat Li Na before falling to 11th seed Radwańska. At the US Open, the first Grand Slam at which she was able to gain direct entry, she won against American Vania King in the opening round in three sets, but was defeated in the second round by Patty Schnyder. Throughout 2008, Pavlyuchenkova captured four ITF singles, two of them coming at the end of the season in Poitiers and Bratislava. She ended the year inside the top 50 for the first time in her career, at world No. 45.

Pavlyuchenkova has played for the Sacramento Capitals of the World TeamTennis league in the summer of 2006. Throughout most of her early professional career, from July 2007 to September 2009, Pavlyuchenkova was coached at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France.[3]

2009: Top-30 debut[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova began the 2009 season at the ASB Classic. She lost to Aravane Rezaï in second round. At the Australian Open, she lost to Italian Tathiana Garbin in the first round in three sets.

The following month at the BNP Paribas Open, she enjoyed a breakthrough where she made her first Premier Mandatory semifinal. Along the way, she had defeated the likes of Marta Domachowska, world No. 2 Jelena Janković, Karin Knapp, Nuria Llagostera Vives and world No. 10, Agnieszka Radwańska.[4] However, she was defeated by the fifth seed and defending champion Ana Ivanovic. Pavlyuchenkova made her top 30 debut following the end of the tournament. At Miami, she defeated Rezaï in the first round but then fell to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in straight sets. The following week, Pavlyuchenkova made her Fed Cup debut where Russia faced Italy in the semifinals. She dropped her sole match to Francesca Schiavone, resulting in the Italian team advancing to the final.[4]

At the French Open where she was seeded at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, 27th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time as well after defeating both Raluca Olaru and Julie Coin in straight sets before losing to world No. 1 Dinara Safina. She then reached the second round at Wimbledon where she fell to Roberta Vinci. However, she lost in the first round of the US Open to eventual quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin.[5] Pavlyuchenkova ended 2009 as world No. 41, her second top 50 finish in a row.

2010: First two WTA titles[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova at the 2010 US Open

Pavlyuchenkova started her 2010 season by reaching the last eight at the Brisbane International where she was defeated by Ivanovic.[6] At the Australian Open, she lost in the second round to compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova. She then reached her first Premier-5 quarterfinal at Dubai by defeating Katarina Srebotnik, Tathiana Garbin and Daniela Hantuchová. There, she fell short to defending champion Venus Williams in straight sets.[7] She then made the third round in Indian Wells and the round of 16 in Miami, losing to Samantha Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki respectively.

Pavlyuchenkova then won her maiden career title at the Monterrey Open. En route to the final, the 3rd seed moved past the likes of Anna Tatishvili, Polona Hercog and Klára Zakopalová to reach the semifinals where she beat Anastasija Sevastova. In the final, she overcame second seed Hantuchová in three sets to win the title.[8] Pavlyuchenkova was the 29th seed at the French Open and reached the third round where she lost to top seed Serena Williams in three sets.[9] She also made the third round at Wimbledon where she lost to Wozniacki.

After a quarterfinal appearance in Portoroz where she lost to eventual runner-up Johanna Larsson, Pavlyuchenkova entered the İstanbul Cup seeded third. She reached the last four after seeing off Marta Domachowska, Magdaléna Rybáriková and Sorana Cîrstea, all in straight sets. She then reached the final by beating Jarmila Groth. She faced Elena Vesnina in the final and defeated her elder Russian opponent in three sets to win her second career title.[10]

Pavlyuchenkova continued her good form in Cincinnati, beating Hantuchová and defending champion Elena Dementieva to advance to the third round where she moved past 13th seed Shahar Pe'er. In the quarterfinals she scored a comeback win over 12th seed Yanina Wickmayer to advance to her first Prmeier 5 semifinal. There, she fell to Maria Sharapova in three sets.[11] She then lost in the opening round of the Rogers Cup to Kuznetsova in three sets.

At the US Open, 22nd seed Pavlyuchenkova posted her best Grand Slam result at that time by reaching the Round of 16. There, she lost to Francesca Schiavone Schiavone in straight sets.[12] Pavlyuchenkova's last tournament of the season was the Tournament of Champions in Bali. It was her debut appearance after winning two International titles throughout the year in Monterrey and İstanbul. However, she lost to eventual champion Ivanovic at the first hurdle. She finished the year inside the top 30 for the first time ever, at world No. 21.

2011: Breakthrough season and two Grand Slam quarterfinals[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova opened her 2011 season in Brisbane where she was seeded fifth. Despite being pushed to three sets in two prior matches, she managed to reach the semifinals where she fell to eventual champion Petra Kvitová.[13] She made her top 20 debut following her good result there. The following week, in Hobart, Pavlyuchenkova was forced to retire in the opening round against Bethanie Mattek-Sands. At the Australian Open, she was the 18th seeded and safely advanced to the third round after defeating Kirsten Flipkens and Kristina Barrois before losing to Iveta Benešová in a tight three-setter.

In Fed Cup competition, Pavlyuchenkova helped Russia rally from an 0–2 deficit against France by winning her reverse singles match against Alizé Cornet and the decisive doubles match, partnering with Svetlana Kuznetsova, thus allowing the Russian team to advance to the semifinals.[14] After an early exit in Dubai, she successfully defended her title at the Monterrey Open, prevailing over top seed Jelena Janković in the final in three sets.[15] She then reached the third round of the BNP Paribas Open, falling to 10th seed Shahar Pe'er. This was followed by a fourth round loss to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in three sets at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. Pavlyuchenkova then helped Russia beat Italy to advance to the Fed Cup final. She beat Sara Errani in her singles rubber match and then teamed up with Ekaterina Makarova to defeat Alberta Brianti and Maria-Elena Camerin in the decisive doubles rubber.[16]

Pavlyuchenkova at the 2011 US Open

Pavlyuchenkova began her clay court season at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix where she lost to second seed Vera Zvonareva in the round of 16. She then defeated Zheng Jie, Marion Bartoli and Samantha Stosur to reach the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open where she lost to Julia Görges.[17] The following week in Rome, Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the round of 16 where she lost to third seed Victoria Azarenka in three sets. Pavlyuchenkova was the 14th seed at the French Open and advanced to her first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal after racking in wins over Yaroslava Shvedova, qualifiers Mona Barthel and Nuria Llagostera Vives and third seed Zvonareva.[18] There, she came up short to defending champion Francesca Schiavone in three sets despite having been two games away from upsetting the Italian.[19]

Pavlyuchenkova had a dismal grass court campaign, dropping her opening match in Eastbourne to Bojana Jovanovski and falling in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships to Nadia Petrova in straight sets. Nevertheless, she hit her career-high ranking of world No. 13 after the conclusion of Wimbledon. She then competed at the Baku Cup but crashed out to Galina Voskoboeva in the quarterfinals, hitting a bizarre 27 double faults in the process.[20]

After opening round losses in Toronto and Cincinnati to María José Martínez Sánchez and Flavia Pennetta respectively, Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the quarterfinals at the New Haven Open where she lost to Li Na.[21] At the US Open, Pavlyuchenkova was the 17th seed and defeated Anna Tatishvili, Petra Martić and Janković to reach the fourth round. There, she avenged her earlier two losses to Schiavone to cruise into her second Grand Slam quarterfinal where she lost to eventual runner-up Serena Williams in straight sets. At Tokyo, she overcame Arantxa Rus in the first round but was then upset by Vania King in the following round in straight sets.[22][23]

Pavlyuchenkova suffered an early exit at the Pan Pacific Open in the hands of Vania King but rebounded well to reach the quarterfinals of the China Open. There, she lost to ninth seed Andrea Petkovic in straight sets. At the Generali Ladies Linz, she beat Anabel Medina Garrigues before falling to qualifier Sorana Cîrstea in the second round. In Luxembourg, Pavlyuchenkova suffered a shocking loss to Rebecca Marino in the first round.[24] In the Fed Cup final, the Russian team faced the Czech Republic. Despite winning her only singles rubber against Lucie Šafářová in straight sets, the Russian team came up short in the end when they lost the decisive doubles match.[25] Pavlyuchenkova ended 2011 at world No. 16, her first ever top 20 finish to a season.

2012: Inconsistencies and ranking slide[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova at the 2012 Aegon International

Pavlyuchenkova started her 2012 season with a loss to eventual champion Kaia Kanepi in the second round of the Brisbane International.[26] She then dropped her opening match in Sydney to Andrea Petkovic and exited the Australian Open in the second round to Vania King.[27] She then endured a four-match losing streak before snapping it at the Family Circle Cup where she beat Eleni Daniilidou in her opening match in three sets. She then lost to compatriot Nadia Petrova in the following round. After that, she dropped both her singles matches while on Fed Cup duty in the semifinals against Serbia.[28]

During the clay court swing, Pavlyuchenkova fell in the second round of Madrid and Rome. Seeded 22nd at the French Open, she won back-to-back matches for the first time since Beijing last year to reach the third round where she was stunned by Klára Zakopalová in straight sets.[29] Pavlyuchenkova's ranking fell outside the top 30 after the French Open concluded. On grass, she reached the quarterfinals in Eastbourne where she lost to Zakopalová once more.[30] At Wimbledon, she lost to Varvara Lepchenko in the second round.

Pavlyuchenkova's form improved after Wimbledon when she made the quarterfinals in Båstad and then went on to reach her first final of the year at the Citi Open where she was beaten by Magdaléna Rybáriková.[31] After falling at the first hurdle in Montreal, she cruised into the last eight in Cincinnati where she lost to Petra Kvitová. This resulted in her return to the top 20 rankings afterward. However, she suffered a setback at the US Open when she was upset in the second round by wildcard Kristina Mladenovic. Pavlyuchenkova went on to win just one more match in her last three tournaments of the year when she beat Chanelle Scheepers in the first round of Tokyo before falling to seventh seed Li Na.[32] Her ranking then plummeted to No. 34 after falling in the first round of Beijing. She subsequently finished the year ranked world No. 36.

2013: Improved form and two WTA titles[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships

Pavlyuchenkova kicked off her 2013 season brilliantly by advancing to the final of the Brisbane International where she went down to third seed Serena Williams.[33] Along the way, she had defeated the likes of sixth seed Petra Kvitová and fourth seed Angelique Kerber, in the second round and quarterfinals respectively.[34][35] However, at the Australian Open, she fell at the first hurdle to Lesia Tsurenko. She was then defeated in her opening matches at the Open GdF Suez and Dubai Tennis Championships by Yanina Wickmayer and Ana Ivanovic respectively.[36]

At the Malaysian Open, Pavlyuchenkova was the only seed to reach the last four but there, she was upset by wildcard Bethanie Mattek-Sands.[37] This was then followed by winless appearances in Indian Wells and Miami. At the Monterrey Open, she saw off Nina Bratchikova, Tereza Mrdeža to reach the quarterfinals. She then went on to beat Lauren Davis and Monica Niculescu to reach the final where she stunned top seed Kerber in three sets for her third title in Monterrey, also her fourth career title overall and her first since defending her title here in 2011.[38] She climbed back into the top 20 rankings after Monterrey. Then, in the Fed Cup semifinals against Slovakia, Pavlyuchenkova lost her singles match to Dominika Cibulková but Russia nevertheless advanced to the final after winning the decisive doubles rubber.

After a second round loss to Kerber in Stuttgart, Pavlyuchenkova captured her sixth career and her first on clay at the Portugal Open. Along the way, she beat qualifiers Shahar Peer and Estrella Cabeza Candela to reach the quarterfinals where she defeated fellow Russian Elena Vesnina. She then overcame Swiss Romina Oprandi to reach the final where she beat fourth seed Carla Suárez Navarro in straight sets for the title.[39] However, the result was followed up with first round exits in Madrid and Rome. She then beat Andrea Hlaváčková in the first round at the French Open before falling to Czech Petra Cetkovská in the following round. Pavlyuchenkova was easily ousted by Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round of Wimbledon, winning just one game.

Pavlyuchenkova posted early losses in Toronto and Cincinnati which resulted in her ranking sliding to world No. 34. However, she rebounded to reach the quarterfinals of New Haven where she lost to defending champion Kvitová in three sets.[40] At the US Open, she was seeded 32nd and defeated a pair of wildcards Virginie Razzano and Ashleigh Barty to advance to third round where lost to third seed Agnieszka Radwańska in straight sets.[41] After the US Open, Pavlyuchenkova made her fourth final of the season in Seoul, succumbing to Radwańska once again, this time in three sets.[42] She then dropped her opening matches in Tokyo and Beijing to Simona Halep and eventual runner-up Jelena Janković respectively.

At the Kremlin Cup, Pavlyuchenkova made her first quarterfinal of the tournament after defeating Caroline Garcia and third seed Maria Kirilenko. She then beat Daniela Hantuchová to reach the semifinals but lost to eventual champion Halep.[43] She finished the year at the Tournament of Champions in Sofia for the second time in her career as a result of winning International tournaments in Monterrey and Oeiras throughout the season. As the sixth seed, she recorded wins over alternate Elina Svitolina and 7th seed Alizé Cornet in the round robin but suffered a loss to top seed Halep. Nevertheless, she finished second in the group behind Halep, thus advancing to the semifinals, where she succumbed to fourth seed Samantha Stosur in three sets.[44] Pavlyuchenkova ended the year inside the top 30 at world No. 26.

Pavlyuchenkova experienced a breakthrough in doubles in 2013. Partnering with Lucie Šafářová, she reached her first two Grand Slam quarterfinals in doubles at the Australian Open and the French Open. They also won the Premier Mandatory-level Mutua Madrid Open by defeating Cara Black and Marina Erakovic in final.

2014: Two Premier titles[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova began her 2014 season in Brisbane. After defeating fellow Russian Alla Kudryavtseva in the opening round, she retired against fifth seed Angelique Kerber with a thigh injury.[45] Seeded fourth at the Hobart, she was upset by Alison Riske in the first round in straight sets.[46] Pavlyuchenkova was the 29th seed at the Australian Open and defeated Teliana Pereira and Mandy Minella to reach the third round where she lost to eventual semifinalist Agnieszka Radwańska in three sets.[47]

The following month, she won her sixth and biggest title of her career to date at the Premier-level Open GDF Suez. Despite being unseeded, she overcame Francesca Schiavone in her opener and went on to beat three seeded opponents in Carla Suárez Navarro, Kerber and Maria Sharapova to reach the final where she prevailed over third seed Sara Errani to claim the title.[48] It was her first title indoors as well. She then suffered an early loss at the Qatar Total Open to Mirjana Lučić-Baroni. At the BNP Paribas Open, Pavlyuchenkova beat Caroline Garcia in her opening match but was then stopped by wildcard Aleksandra Wozniak in three sets. Another early loss ensued, this time to Coco Vandeweghe in Miami.

Pavlyuchenkova at the 2014 Internazionali BNL d'Italia

Pavlyuchenkova then defeated Latvia's Diāna Marcinkēviča in the first round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix before falling to two-time defending champion Sharapova in the following round in straight sets.[49] At the Mutua Madrid Open, she defeated María Teresa Torró Flor and sixth seed Jelena Janković to reach the round of 16 where she lost to Ana Ivanovic.[50] The following week in Rome, she drew qualifier Belinda Bencic in the opening round and lost to the Swiss three sets. Pavlyuchenkova was the 24th seed at the French Open and survived her opening clash against veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm in the first round but was then forced to retire against Kiki Bertens in following round.

During the grass court swing, Pavlyuchenkova upset top seed Radwańska in the first round of Eastbourne but then lost to compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in the following round in straight sets. She then dropped her opening match at the Wimbledon Championships, for the second year in a row, to Riske.

In July, Pavlyuchenkova suffered a shocking loss in the opening round of Båstad to Grace Min. She then reached her second quarterfinal of the year at the Citi Open after beating Virginie Razzano and Hiroko Kuwata. There, she fell to Makarova once more.[51] She then lost to eventual finalist Venus Williams in the first round of the Rogers Cup. The following week in Cincinnati, she saw off 11th seed Dominika Cibulková in the first round and then went on to beat Karin Knapp to reach the round of 16 where she lost to Sharapova in straight sets.[52] At the US Open where she was seeded 23rd, she crashed out in the second round to wildcard Nicole Gibbs in three sets.[53]

After an early loss to Garbiñe Muguruza in Tokyo, Pavlyuchenkova scored her first win over Ivanovic, via retirement from the Serb, en route the second round in Wuhan where she lost to Casey Dellacqua.[54] She then retired against Zhu Lin in first round in Beijing due to dizziness.[55] To finish the year, Pavlyuchenkova played the Kremlin Cup where she was the sixth seed. She defeated the likes of Ana Konjuh and Riske to reach the last eight where she beat fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko in three sets. She then advanced to the final, after overcoming Kateřina Siniaková, where she faced Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu. She won the match in three sets to capture her seventh and equal-biggest career title to date.[56] She concluded the year as world No. 25.

2015: Slow start and late-season surge[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova at the 2015 French Open

Pavlyuchenkova endured a three-match losing streak to start off her 2015 season, falling in the first round of the Apia International Sydney to Peng Shuai, the Australian Open to Yanina Wickmayer and the Dubai Tennis Championships to eventual runner-up Karolína Plíšková. This culminated in her ranking falling to as low as No. 41, her lowest since 2009.

At the Monterrey Open, Pavlyuchenkova recorded her first victories of the year by defeating Anna Karolína Schmiedlová and Johanna Larsson to reach the quarterfinals where she lost to second seed Sara Errani.[57] It was her first ever defeat at the tournament. In Indian Wells, she scored wins over Larsson and 17th seed Barbora Strýcová to reach the third round where she lost to 12th seed Carla Suárez Navarro. The following week in Miami, she lost to Errani in the second round, having defeated compatriot Vera Zvonareva in the first round. Pavlyuchenkova then retired in her opening match against Sara Sorribes Tormo in Charleston due to a shoulder injury.[58]

In the Fed Cup semifinal tie against Germany, Pavlyuchenkova won her singles rubber over Sabine Lisicki and then partnered Elena Vesnina to defeat Lisicki and Andrea Petkovic in the decisive doubles match, thus sending Russia into its first Fed Cup final since 2011.[59] After an early exit in Prague, Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the last 16 in Madrid where she lost to eventual champion Petra Kvitová.[60] Then, at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, she lost to defending champion Serena Williams in the second round.[61] At the French Open, where Pavlyuchenkova was unseeded at a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2010 Australian Open, she fell to eventual runner-up Lucie Šafářová at the first hurdle. On grass, Pavlyuchenkova lost in the second round of the Topshelf Open to Kiki Bertens in straight sets. At the Wimbledon Championships, she was defeated in the second round by 10th seed Angelique Kerber.

After exiting in the first round of İstanbul, Pavlyuchenkova made her first semifinal of the year the following week in Baku by defeating Elizaveta Kulichkova, Kateryna Bondarenko and Kirsten Flipkens. There, she was upset by Romanian Patricia Maria Țig.[62] She then advanced to her first final of the season at the Citi Open, her second at the tournament, but was denied the title once again, this time by American Sloane Stephens.[63] At the Western & Southern Open, Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the last eight but was defeated by third seed Simona Halep.[64] At the US Open, seeded 31st, Pavlyuchenkova bowed out in the second round to qualifier Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.[65]

After another loss to Halep in the second round of Wuhan, Pavlyuchenkova cruised into her second quarterfinal at the China Open where she fell to sixth seed Ana Ivanovic in straight sets.[66] Pavlyuchenkova then went on to win her first title of the year and the eighth of her career at the Generali Ladies Linz by defeating German Anna-Lena Friedsam in the final in straight sets.[67] It was also her third straight title indoors. As the defending champion in Moscow, she carried on her good form by advancing to her third final of the year but saw her title defence come to an end in the hands of compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova.[68] Pavlyuchenkova finished the year ranked world No. 28, her fifth overall top 30 finish to a season. In the Fed Cup final against Czech Republic, Pavlyuchenkova lost both her singles rubbers and then teamed up with Vesnina in the decisive doubles match but came up second best to the Czech team in the end.[69]

2016: Wimbledon quarterfinal[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova at the 2016 US Open

Pavlyuchenkova began her 2016 season at the Brisbane International, reaching the quarterfinals by beating fifth seed Timea Bacsinszky and Alizé Cornet. There, she fell to eventual runner-up Angelique Kerber.[70] The following week in Sydney, she lost to Karolína Plíšková in the second round. She then suffered a second consecutive first round loss at the Australian Open when she fell to Lauren Davis in her opening match.[71] She then reached the quarterfinals on home soil in St. Petersburg after seeing off Klára Koukalová and Carina Witthöft but there, she was beaten by eventual runner-up Belinda Bencic.[72] She then made another quarterfinal in Acapulco where she lost to Yanina Wickmayer.[73]

After a going winless in tournaments throughout the months of March and April, which includes the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open, Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the Round of 16 at the Mutua Madrid Open for the third year in a row. There, she succumbed to eventual runner-up Dominika Cibulková in three sets.[74] At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, she lost to 13th seed Ana Ivanovic in the first round. At the French Open, Pavlyuchenkova won back-to-back matches at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the 2014 Australian Open, defeating the likes of Sara Sorribes Tormo and Çağla Büyükakçay to book her spot in the third round where she was beaten by compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Pavlyuchenkova started the grass court season with opening round losses to Jeļena Ostapenko and Madison Brengle in Birmingham and Eastbourne respectively. At the Wimbledon Championships, Pavlyuchenkova was the 21st seed and she moved past Hsieh Su-wei and Yulia Putintseva to reach the third round where she upset Timea Bacsinszky to advance to the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2011 US Open. In the fourth round, she defeated Coco Vandeweghe for a place in her third Grand Slam quarterfinal, also her first since the 2011 US Open.[75] There, she faced Serena Williams and was defeated by the defending champion in straight sets.[76] Following the conclusion of Wimbledon, Pavlyuchenkova re-entered the top 20 rankings for the first time in more than four years at No. 19.

Carrying her good form into the Rogers Cup, she was seeded 16th and she saw off Putintseva and Christina McHale before upsetting fourth seed Agnieszka Radwańska for a place in her fifth quarterfinal of the year.[77] There, she was defeated by eventual runner-up Madison Keys in three sets. Making her debut appearance at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Pavlyuchenkova defeated Pole Magda Linette in the opening round but was then beaten by eventual gold medallist Monica Puig in the second round. She then lost in the round of 16 at Cincinnati to Garbiñe Muguruza. At the US Open, Pavlyuchenkova reached the third round where she was beaten by eventual runner-up Plíšková.[78]

Pavlyuchenkova had an unfruitful Asian swing, netting just one win from three tournaments. She then went on to finish the year by recording another two quarterfinal appearances, in Linz, where she was the defending champion but fell to eventual champion Cibulková,[79] and in Moscow, to eventual runner-up Daria Gavrilova.[80] The loss to Gavrilova meant Pavlyuchenkova had failed to reach a semifinal throughout the season, her best result being seven quarterfinal showings. Nevertheless, she maintained her year-end ranking from the previous year, world No. 28.

2017: Australian Open quarterfinal and three WTA titles[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova opened her 2017 season at the ASB Classic. Seeded 6th, she was defeated in the opening round by Julia Görges.[81] She then made the quarterfinals in Sydney the following week by claiming excellent victories over Samantha Stosur and defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova before falling to Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets.[82] Seeded 24th at the Australian Open, Pavlyuchenkova defeated a pair of Russians in Evgeniya Rodina and Natalia Vikhlyantseva to reach the third round where she saw off 11th seed Elina Svitolina in three sets, thus advancing to her maiden second week appearance at the tournament. There, she took down an eighth-seeded Kuznetsova in straight sets to cruise into her fourth overall Grand Slam quarterfinal, her second in as many as six months.[83] With this achievement, Pavlyuchenkova has now made the quarterfinals at each of the four Grand Slams. There, she lost to eventual runner-up Venus Williams in straight sets.[84]

After a string of early losses in the Middle East, Pavlyuchenkova rebounded at the BNP Paribas Open. There, she beat Anett Kontaveit and 17th seed Barbora Strýcová before going on to upset fifth seed Dominika Cibulková in three sets to reach her first quarterfinal there since her semifinal run back in 2009. There, she fell to eventual runner-up Kuznetsova in straight sets.[85] She then exited in the third round of the Miami Open to Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The following week in Monterrey, Pavlyuchenkova reached the quarterfinals after defeating Tatjana Maria and qualifier Kristie Ahn before surviving fifth seed Timea Babos to cruise into her first semifinal in eleven tries, her first since the Kremlin Cup in 2015. She went on to beat third seed Caroline Garcia in the last four and, in a rematch of the 2013 final, top seed Angelique Kerber for her ninth career title and her fourth at the tournament.[86]

After an unsuccessful Fed Cup campaign against Belgium for a place in the World Group, dropping her singles match to Elise Mertens, with the Russian team ultimately losing the tie 2–3, Pavlyuchenkova reached her second final of the year in Rabat. En route, she had defeated the likes of Ekaterina Makarova, seventh seed Lauren Davis and Sara Errani. She then beat Francesca Schiavone in straight sets for her 10th career title, her second on clay.[87] She then dropped her opener in Madrid to Sorana Cîrstea and then reached the third round in Rome where she lost to Simona Halep. She suffered an early defeat at the French Open, falling to Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg in the second round in three sets.

Pavlyuchenkova started the grass court season by reaching the second round in Mallorca and the last 16 in Eastbourne, but then succumbed at the first hurdle of Wimbledon to qualifier Arina Rodionova.[88] She then recorded a quarterfinal appearance in Stanford before suffering early losses at the Rogers Cup and Western & Southern Open. After reaching the last eight of New Haven,[89] she exited in the opening round of the US Open to Christina McHale.

Pavlyuchenkova began the Asian swing in Tokyo where she reached the final, falling to Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.[90] After dropping her opener in Wuhan, she beat Davis in the first round of Beijing but then lost to Wozniacki once again. At the Hong Kong Open, Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the final by beating Babos, Jacqueline Cako, Naomi Osaka and Wang, all in straight sets. There, she overcame Daria Gavrilova in a long three-setter to claim her third title of the year and her 11th career singles title.[91] However, this was followed by a loss in the opening round of the Kremlin Cup.[92] Nevertheless, Pavlyuchenkova's strong results throughout the year ensured her qualification for the WTA Elite Trophy. It will be her debut appearance at the tournament and her first at a year-end championship since the Tournament of Champions in 2013. In her opener, she defeated Angelique Kerber, for the third time in 2017[93] before falling to Ashleigh Barty in straight sets,[94] and thus, was eliminated in the round robin stage. She concluded 2017 as world No. 15, her best season-finish since 2011, and second in the top 20 overall.

2018: Another WTA title[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova won the title (her 12th in singles) at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, after a marathon final against Slovakian veteran Dominika Cibulková. The Russian called that match (which lasted 215 minutes) "the most dramatic I ever played".[95]

Playing style and endorsements[edit]

Pavlyuchenkova employs an all-court game, using aggressive groundstrokes and shots to dominate play. She possesses powerful groundstrokes off both wings and both are played relatively flat, with her forehand played with slight topspin. Both her forehand and backhand are much more powerfully hit when she hits it into the open court or when she hits a ball that has landed short. She also attacks the serve aggressively by hitting it into the open court powerfully, and this is especially evident when returning a second serve. She also possesses a good serve that combines power, with accurate placement to either get a head-start into the point or to win the point from the serve, with her being capable of serving several aces in a match.

As of 2018, her clothing sponsor is Sofibella, and her racquet sponsor is Wilson. She currently endorses the Wilson Burn range of racquets.

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam performance timelines[edit]

Singles[edit]

Tournament 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 SR W–L Win %
Australian Open A A Q3 Q2 1R 2R 3R 2R 1R 3R 1R 1R QF 2R 0 / 10 11–10 52%
French Open A A A 2R 3R 3R QF 3R 2R 2R 1R 3R 2R 2R 0 / 11 17–11 61%
Wimbledon A A 1R 3R 2R 3R 2R 2R 1R 1R 2R QF 1R 1R 0 / 12 12–12 50%
US Open A A Q2 2R 1R 4R QF 2R 3R 2R 2R 3R 1R 1R 0 / 11 15–11 58%
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–1 4–3 3–4 8–4 11–4 5–4 3–4 4–4 2–4 8–4 5–4 2–4 0 / 44 55–44 56%

Doubles[edit]

Tournament 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 W–L
Australian Open A 1R 1R 1R 1R QF 1R 3R 3R 3R 1R 9–10
French Open A 3R 1R 2R 1R QF 2R 2R A 3R 2R 11–9
Wimbledon A 2R 3R 1R 1R 1R QF 3R A A 1R 8–8
US Open 1R 1R 2R 2R 1R 3R 2R QF A 3R QF 13–10
Win–Loss 0–1 3–4 3–4 2–4 0–4 8–4 5–4 8–4 2–1 6–3 4–4 41–37

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External links[edit]

Preceded by
Victoria Azarenka
ITF Junior World Champion
2006
Succeeded by
Urszula Radwańska