Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova’s French Open run a feat of mental strength

Russian’s talent has never been in doubt but her achievements have previously been hamstrung by mental shortcomings

Throughout her career, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova’s talent has never been in doubt. Her ball striking has forever been clean as a whistle, her touch supreme since the days she was terrorising far older junior players aged just 14, but her success has always been handcuffed by her mental shortcomings.

It has made her breakout tournament in Paris all the more impactful. While the women’s semi-finals produced the rare scenario of four first-time semi-finalists, an instance that only happened 43 years ago at the 1978 Australian Open, not everybody was in the same boat.

Related: Krejcikova saves match point to set up French Open final with Pavlyuchenkova

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