(CNN)Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached her first grand slam final with a 7-5 6-3 victory against Tamara Zidanšek at the French Open.
With all four semifinalists in the women’s singles draw never having reached this stage of a grand slam before, it was Russia’s Pavlyuchenkova was secured the biggest win of her career with a hard-fought victory. Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, videos and featuresBoth players struggled to hold their serve throughout the match. JUST WATCHEDOsaka withdrawal news was like ‘a punch to the gut,’ says Patrick McEnroeReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH
Osaka withdrawal news was like ‘a punch to the gut,’ says Patrick McEnroe 05:08Slovenian Zidanšek secured two breaks in the first set, including in the first game of the match, and two in the second, but Pavlyuchenkova recorded six breaks of her own, converting six of her 10 break points compared to Zidansek’s four of 11. Read MorePavlyuchenkova, who turns 30 next month, had reached six quarterfinals prior to this year’s Roland Garros, including last year’s Australian Open, with four of those coming since 2016. READ: Novak Djokovic lets out guttural scream after setting up French Open semifinal against Rafael NadalAnd after 52 grand slam starts, she can now call herself a major finalist, where she will face either Barbora Krejčíková or Maria Sakkari on Saturday. Ranked No. 32 in the world, the victory also means that Pavlyuchenkova will return to the top 20 in the rankings. As for Zidansek, she will enter the top 50 for the first time having never previously progressed past the second round of a major.