Saturday March 2, 2013
Pavlyuchenkova shows she’s here to get her hands on silverware
KUALA LUMPUR: Third seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova came here to win – plain and simple. And now, she’s just two steps away from achieving it.
The Russian had a relatively straightforward 6-2, 6-0 win over Australian Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals yesterday to set up a last four date against American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who stunned defending champion Hsieh Su-wei 7-5, 6-2.
Pavlyuchenkova, the world No. 29, has three WTA titles – Istanbul Cup (2010) and Monterrey Open (2010 and 2011) – and is looking to add the BMW Malaysian Open to her list.
She also reached the quarter-finals of the French Open and US Open in 2011. She also made the final of the Brisbane International, only to lose to world No. 1 Serena Williams 2-6, 1-6.
So, it’s only natural for the hard-hitting Russian to crave for some silverware.
“Honestly, I came into this tournament bent on winning the title. I’m not being cocky or anything. But I just want to get my hands on a silverware so much. I want it and I’ll try my best to do it,” said Pavlyuchenkova.
“My goal, until now, has always been to be the best in tennis ... to progress and be in the world’s top 10, not only top 15.
“I think you’ll never progress and improve if you keep thinking of being just in the top 50. That’s why I’m playing ... that’s why I’m fighting,” added the 22-year-old, who held her highest ranking at No. 13 in 2011.
Pavlyuchenkova had the chance to rub shoulders with tennis greats like Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis recently and she’s hoping it’ll mark a change in her fortunes as well.
Pavlyuchenkova, of Samara, grew up idolising players like Graf, a winner of a record 22 Grand Slams and the only player to achieve the calendar year Slam in 1988 by winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open as well as the singles gold medal at the Seoul Olympics.
“I used to look up to Steffi, Martina probably ... and Ana Kournikova as well since she was Russian and really good looking,” laughed Pavlyuchenkova.