RABAT, Morocco – No.1 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will take on Sara Errani in the semifinals of the Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem after the Russian took down Lauren Davis in three sets.
After wrapping up the first set, Pavlyuchenkova found herself struggling to find winners as Davis came back to take the second and a 3-1 lead in the third, but Pavlyuchenkova found another gear just in time to see off the American 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
“I felt like today I didn’t play my good tennis,” Pavlyuchenkova explained her mid-match let down in her on-court interview. “I was just struggling to find my game. She was playing a mix of aggressive and then with spin and stuff, so it didn’t give me a rhythm.
“I just kept fighting until the last point and stayed in it all the way to the end. It worked out and I’m happy that I could turn it around.”
Pavlyuchenkova took advantage of Davis’ service woes early on in the match – the American struck six double faults in the first four games alone, racking up eight in total.
After breaking three times to take the opening set and an early lead in the second, Pavlyuchenkova seemed to ease off the pressure and Davis came storming back. The American looked set to cruise to victory after the grabbed and early break to go up 3-1, but Pavlyuchenkova found another gear just in time.
She reeled off five games in a row, outhitting Davis with a barrage of late winners to take the match and a spot into her first Rabat semifinals.
“I feel good here in Rabat,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “It’s my third match now on clay, here at this tournament.
“I’m happy I’m getting some matches on play and playing quite well on clay. It’s different from hardcourts. It’s not easy to make this transition, but I’m happy I’m back in a semifinal here in Rabat.”
Pavlyuchenkova will take on Sara Errani for a spot in the final as the Russian seeks her first clay court title since 2013 Estoril.