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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday September 21, 2021

 
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova pushed past Ana Konjuh in straights sets at Ostrava.

Photo Source: AP

Fifth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova moved into the second round at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open on Tuesday, defeating Croatian qualifier Ana Konjuh, 7-6(3), 6-1, to set up a second-round clash with Czech Tereza Martincova.

Tennis Express

Pavlyuchenkova runs her streak of victories against players ranked outside the Top-50 to eleven by taking down the World No.77 in one hour and 33 minutes.

Konjuh was bidding for her best win by ranking since 2017 against the 13th-ranked Russian. The former World No.20 started climbing from a year-end ranking of 538 in 2020, and is one of the unsung heroes of the 2021 WTA season, having regained full health after four elbow surgeries between 2014 and 2019, the last of which was ulnar ligament reconstruction surgery in 2019.

Doctors told her that she had about a 70 percent chance of returning to professional tennis at the time.

Konjuh drops to 15-12 with the loss in 2021, and 40-21 across all levels.

Pavlyuchenkova has been a great story herself in 2021, one of dedication and perseverance. The 30-year-old reached the final at Roland Garros in June in her 52nd main draw appearance at a major, a record for women’s singles Grand Slam finalists.


Pavlyuchenkova broke serve four times on nine opportunities and only faced one break point against Konjuh. She came through a tight opening set that featured no breaks of serve, rallying from 3-2 down in the tiebreak to claim the final five points.

Pavlyuchenkova set the tone early in set two, breaking for 1-0 on her fifth break point of the opening game. Konjuh could manage a single hold in the second set.

Teichmann Powers Past Kerber, Rybakina Stops Kudermetova

Sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber was a first-round casualty on Tuesday, as Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann methodically moved past the three-time Grand Slam champion 6-2, 6-3 in 72 minutes. Teichmann improves to 20-15 on the season and 17-9 on hard courts.

Seventh-seeded Elena Rybakina toppled Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, 6-1, 6-3, to improve to 28-18 in 2021. Rybakina will face Poland’s Magda Linette in the second round; Teichmann will face either Alison Riske or Fiona Ferro.


 

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