ASIDE from their names being tongue-twisters, they can also dish off stuff that are championship worthy. Well, at this stage, that is.
The latest of this bouncing bunch to stun was Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 30th-seeded Russian who, at 28, thinks she’s “old enough” to defeat big names in tennis.
But yesterday, she unloaded a variety of masterful shots to oust No. 2 Karolina Pliskova of Czechia, 7-6, 7-6 in a result that the Russian herself could not believe.
In crafting yet another monumental upset in the Australian Open in Melbourne, Pavlyuchenkova survived three rather shocking double-faults in one game en route to winning the second set leading to her fourth-round advance.
“It’s amazing,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “I’m still in shock at how I did it.”
But if the Russian beauty on the plump side was unbelieving of her feat—she was 0-6 in win-loss record before she faced Pliskova—Serena Williams had a totally different opinion of her shocking defeat two days back. After yielding a 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 loss to the 27th-seeded Qiang Wang of China, Williams said: “I’m way too old to play like this at this stage of my career. Definitely going to training tomorrow—that’s first and foremost to make sure I don’t do this again.”
At 38, she’s still hard on training?
Wonder no more why she holds 23 Grand Slam titles.
The loss hurt, yes, as she missed yet again the chance to equal the all-time record of 24 Slams held by Margaret Court.
Williams’ loss also marked her earliest exit in 14 years of playing the Australian Open.
But other seeded and crowd-favorite players like Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova also fell by the wayside, although Naomi Osaka’s fall produced the louded thud.
Coco Gauff gobbling up a 6-3, 6-4 win over Osaka on Friday was more than a first-class upset as the 15-year-old American upstart kicked out the defending champion Japanese with strokes a la Picasso, if not Van Gogh, with a paint-brush in hand.
Getting to be interesting, indeed, and I can’t wait to see Gauff play her next round.