French Open: Pavlyuchenkova enters first Grand Slam semifinal in 52nd attempt

Russia's Pavlyuchenkova, the world number 32, overcame a stiff challenge from her doubles partner Elena Rybakina to reach her first career Grand Slam semis on Tuesday.

Pavlyuchenkova will face 85th-ranked Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia for a place in the final.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova finally reached a Grand Slam semifinal at the 52nd time of asking as she beat Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina 6-7(2) 6-2 9-7 at the French Open on Tuesday.

Six times the 29-year-old had lost at the quarter-final stage of one of the four majors, but she used all her experience to overcome her doubles partner in a gruelling scrap.

Rybakina, 21, looked in control of her first Grand Slam quarter-final when she opened up a 4-1 lead in the first set but Pavlyuchenkova hit back to force a tiebreak.

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Pavlyuchenkova took the momentum into the second set to level the match and kept her nose ahead in a tense finale.

Rybakina, who beat Serena Williams in the fourth round, held serve three times to stay alive in the third set.

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But she failed at the fourth time of asking, ending the contest in tame fashion with a double-fault.

Pavlyuchenkova will face fellow semi-final debutant Tamara Zidansek for a place in Saturday's final after the Slovenian also came though a long battle, against Paula Badosa.

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