Venus overcomes Pavlyuchenkova to reach semis

By Dejan Kalinic 24 January 2017
Venus overcomes Pavlyuchenkova to reach semis

Venus Williams advanced to her first Australian Open semi-final since 2003 with a straight-sets win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Tuesday.

The American seven-time major champion was too good for Pavlyuchenkova in a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) victory in their quarter-final in Melbourne.

For the first time since she was runner-up in 2003, Williams is into the last four at the year's opening grand slam.

Pavlyuchenkova, playing her fourth major quarter-final, let her chances slip in a match with few extended rallies on Rod Laver Arena.

As both players tried to take the upper-hand early in points, only eight were of nine or more shots.

Williams executed the better of the pair, setting up a last-four clash against either Coco Vandeweghe or Garbine Muguruza, after Pavlyuchenkova gave up leads in both sets.

Pavlyuchenkova had taken a 2-1 lead in the first set by breaking Williams, only for two double faults in the next game to see that advantage disappear.

With the Russian 24th seed unable to consolidate another break later in the set, Williams broke decisively to take it in the 10th game with a backhand winner down the line.

The trend continued in the second set as Pavlyuchenkova coughed up two break leads, Williams at one stage winning nine consecutive points.

Pavlyuchenkova went 3-1 ahead in the tie-break, only to lose six straight points – completed with a double fault.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Williams [13] bt Pavlyuchenkova [24] 6-4 7-6 (7-3)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams – 35/29
Pavlyuchenkova – 17/32

ACES
Williams – 4
Pavlyuchenkova – 3

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 5/10
Pavlyuchenkova – 4/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams – 61
Pavlyuchenkova – 59

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 57/59
Pavlyuchenkova – 59/32

TOTAL POINTS
Williams – 83
Pavlyuchenkova – 69

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Dejan Kalinic

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