STA, 10 June 2021 - Tamara Zidanšek lost in the semi-finals of the French Open in Paris to Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in two sets (5:7 and 3:6) on Thursday. This was only the second semi-final appearance for a Slovenian woman tennis player in the singles competition at a Grand Slam tournament in almost four decades and a half.
On Tuesday, the 23-year-old defeated Paula Badosa of Spain in three sets to become the first Slovenian to advance to the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament since 1977, when Mima Jaušovec won it all on the Paris clay.
The 29-year-old Pavlyuchenkova, however, proved to be a much more difficult opponent as she dominated the court to become the first Russian after 2014 to make it to the finals of Roland-Garros, whose prize money this year is EUR 34.4 million.
"I had opportunities in both sets, but I failed to take advantage of them, like in the previous matches. I nevertheless fought until the end. I am satisfied with how I stood on the court," Zidanšek told reporters after the loss.
"I realised at this tournament that I can match the best players in the world. I will now try to leverage this in the future, as new tournaments and new opportunities will follow soon," she added.
The Russian, who is currently 32nd on the WTA rankings, will play in the finals the winner of the second semi-finals match between Barbora Krejčíková of the Czech Republic and Maria Sakkari of Greece.
Zidanšek is also expected to crack the top 50 on the WTA rankings after the career result, as she is currently ranked 85th. She played in the finals of WTA tournaments twice - this year in Bogota and in Nürnberg in 2019