icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Sharapova shows her love for Pavlyuchenkova after tennis queen breaks duck to end seven-year final wait for Russian women in Paris

Sharapova shows her love for Pavlyuchenkova after tennis queen breaks duck to end seven-year final wait for Russian women in Paris
Tennis icon Maria Sharapova has hailed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after the serial pretender put herself on the brink of her first Grand Slam title, becoming the first Russian woman in the French Open final since Sharapova in 2014.

The former child prodigy beat Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 6-3 to reach the final, going one better after reaching the semifinal of a Grand Slam at the seventh time of trying.

That made her the first Russian woman to reach the final at Roland-Garros since former world number one Sharapova seven years ago, causing the retired legend to thrill fans by responding with a flurry of heart emotions on social media.

Supporters also shared photos of the pair representing their country together after the world number 32 became the first woman to play more than 50 majors before reaching her first Grand Slam final, and put herself one win away from a major trophy at the 52nd attempt since turning professional as a teenager.

With one exception in 2005, there had been a Russian woman in at least one major tournament final each year between 2004 and 2015.

The record for the number of Grand Slams tournaments before reaching a final was previously held by Roberta Vinci, who lost at the final hurdle at the 2015 US Open – her 44th main draw.

Sharapova was the last Russian female to stand one win away from a Grand Slam trophy, losing the Australian Open to Serena Williams in 2015.

Posting a trio of loveheart smilies, the 34-year-old also uploaded a dramatic photo of an emotional Pavlyuchenkova with her head bowed.

"Thanks to all of you for being here today – I am so tired and so happy. It is very emotional," the woman of the hour said after her victory.

"It was difficult. I tried to fight very hard and to work on the tactical side. It is important to stay focused and in the right zone for the final on Saturday."

Pavlyuchenkova will either face Greece's Maria Sakkari or Czech Barbora Krejcikova in the final on Saturday.

Also on rt.com Seventh heaven: Tennis queen Pavlyuchenkova ends her drought, becomes first Russian woman in Grand Slam semi for 5 years (VIDEO)
Podcasts