PAVLYUCHENKOVA DERAILS PENNETTA

2015-10-9


BEIJING, China - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova sprung the latest surprise at this week's China Open when she sent No.3 seed Flavia Pennetta tumbling out in three sets.

The result not only ends US Open champion Pennetta's nine-match winning streak but also dents her hopes of qualifying for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

Pavlyuchenkova has endured an up and down season but looked the fresher of the two as the contest reached its climax, running out a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 winner to set up a quarterfinal meeting with Ana Ivanovic.

Pennetta started brightly enough rattling off four straight games to take the first set, but was unable to build on this momentum in the second. Instead, it was Pavlyuchenkova that grasped the initiative, threatening to break on a couple of occasions before finally doing so at the perfect moment.

In truth, Pennetta was the architect of her own downfall. Serving to stay in the set the Italian coughed up a series of errors to slip 0-40 behind, sending the match into a decider with another errant forehand. Pavlyuchenkova made the first move in the third, racing through the first three games before calmly serving her way into the last eight.

For Pennetta, the setback has failed to take the shine off a fairytale few months. In addition to collecting her maiden Slam, and reaching a career-high No.6 in the rankings, the Italian has another life goal to plan for: her wedding.

"Of course, it's a good moment in my life," Pennetta, who is engaged to ATP player Fabio Fognini, said. "I have everything that I always wanted to have.

"Professionally, I'm in the perfect moment. I won one of my favorite tournaments, one of the best tournaments in the world. I have a great ranking. I have the person that I love with me. I mean, I just can say that I'm really happy."

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