Ana beats Pavlyuchenkova as Serbia reaches final

Ana beats Pavlyuchenkova as Serbia reaches final

Ana defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the third rubber to put Serbia 2-1 up in its Fed Cup semi-final tie against Russia. Jelena Jankovic then defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova to seal victory for the visitors and set up a final against the Czech Republic.

It was a remarkable turnaround by the 24-year-old who completely missed her start at the Megasport Sports Palace in Moscow, but eventually won 14 of the last 18 games to seal victory.

After trailing 5-0 in the opening set, things didn’t look very rosy for Ana. The Russian hammered her shots from the baseline while Ana was too passive and erratic to keep up with the pace.

Luckily, Ana started to cut out her unforced errors at this point and stepped into the court, impeding Pavlyuchenkova from dictating terms for the rest of the match. She undid one break of serve, but was broken once more in the ninth game.

Ana’s confidence was boosted after breaking the Russian to love in the first game of the second set. She took command of the rallies, which resulted in classy one-direction tennis. Ana ruthlessly whitewashed the home player and continued that fine form in the decisive third set as she cruised into a 4-0 lead. It was fairly routine from there as Ana prevailed after 102 minutes to grant Serbia a second win.

“I was a little bit tense in the beginning,” Ana admitted afterwards. “She was playing well, hardly missing a ball, every shot was a winner, and I didn’t feel like I was doing much wrong. But in the second and third sets I stayed really composed.”

Jankovic defeated Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-4 to send Serbia through to the final in the Czech Republic on 3-4 November. 

The doubles rubber was won by Russia to make the final score 3-2 to Serbia.

By Joeri Moerman