Daria Gavrilova ended 2014 champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova's hopes of returning to the Kremlin Cup final after a two-hour-and-thirty-six-minute battle in the Moscow quarterfinals.
WTA Staff

MOSCOW, Russia - Daria Gavrilova ended 2014 champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova's hopes of returning to the Kremlin Cup final after a two-hour and 36-minute battle in the Moscow quarterfinals.

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Last week at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, Gavrilova stunned the WTA World No.1 Angelique Kerber in straight sets, and tonight in Moscow she added another scalp to her long list of upsets after taking out Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Gavrilova squeezed through a tight opening set, with both players wrestling for the momentum before the Australian converted her fourth break opportunity in the eleventh game to narrowly take the set. She climbed ahead to a 4-0 lead in the second, with Pavlyuchenkova looking increasingly more frustrated, and looked set to wrap up the encounter.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The Russian had other ideas, though, and harnessed the energy of her home crowd to mount her comeback, rattling off six games in a row to level the match and force a decider.

With emotions running high, Pavlyuchenkova dumped a forehand into the net and got her second warning for racquet abuse, handing Gavrilova the first break in the third set at 3-2.

The Australian took over from there, and she brought up match point with a well-timed drop shot after running Pavlyuchenkova all over the court, then sealed the match with a blistering forehand for a spot in the semifinals.

Pavlyuchenkova will likely rue her missed opportunities - she brought up 17 break points (with six of them coming in the deciding set) and only converted on five. For her part, Gavrilova was more efficient and converted six of her nine chances. Pavlyuchenkova struck 30 winners and 45 unforced errors throughout the match against Gavrilova's 27 and 33.

Gavrilova will play Julia Goerges for a spot in the final after the German edged past No.8 seed Daria Kasatkina 7-5, 6-1.

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