Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova overcomes Elena Rybakina in latest epic to reach semi-finals

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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova overcomes Elena Rybakina in latest epic to reach semi-finals

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won through to the semi-finals of the French Open in dramatic fashion after she beat Elena Rybakina 9-7 in the deciding set.

In what was a thrilling and tense encounter on Court Philippe Chatrier, the Russian roared back from a set down to triumph in Paris and reach the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Rybakina played incredibly well too and will be feeling hugely disappointed at double faulting on match point down to hand the win to her opponent after battling so hard for so long.

For Pavlyuchenkova this was a huge moment. The 29-year-old had reached the last eight in all four Grand Slams but has now finally got a step further after holding her nerve when it really mattered.

There was a controversial moment midway through the second set as Pavlyuchenkova took a nasty tumble at the back of the court during a crucial rally with a break point on her opponent’s serve.

With Rybakina a set up and with the match in the balance, it was a huge moment, and as her doubles partner fell to the ground she let out a huge shriek.

While it may have been an entirely understandable reaction to taking a heavy fall on the red clay, there was no doubt that it put off Rybakina and she ended up losing her serve.

Not only that, but Pavlyuchenkova went on to win the second set after taking that crucial break of serve and level up the match.

Eurosport experts Chris Bradnam and Jo Durie were on commentary at the time and felt it was unfair on Rybakina.

“Oooh, she made a noise! Now, is that impeding?” asked Bradnam. “Obviously it frightened her a bit falling. She didn’t get called for it, but I think that was impeding!

“It’s tough to make a big complaint about it, though, against your doubles partner. She seems like such a delightful woman, Rybakina, she probably didn’t even think about it.”

Durie responded: “It should be! I’m surprised [she wasn’t penalised] – that would have put me off, as I went for the shot. Very tough. That was quite some yell!”

She will now take on Tamara Zidansek in the semi-finals, who overcame Paula Badosa in another extended three-set classic, 7-5 4-6 8-6, earlier in the day.

The world number 85 had saved two break points before breaking her opponent in the next game to seal her place in the last four at Roland Garros in a match which had an astonishing 15 breaks of serve.