The last time she played Francesca Schiavone, at the 2011 French Open, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was up a set and and a break, but lost the match. This time, in the U.S. Open round of 16, the Russian player was the victor. The match took two hours and 41 minutes to play, there were 16 breaks of serve, and the players committed 95 unforced errors. That statistic includes 21 double faults. There was a great deal of fighting back from Schiavone in the third set, as one would expect. But Pavlyuchenkova's shot-making was just good enough to get her to the next round. Schiavone, the 7th seed, couldn't get by on fight alone in this match; her tennis just wasn't good enough.
For her troubles, Pavlyuchenkova gets to face Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. Williams, who is seeded 28th at the Open, defeated 16th seed Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-4 while the wind swirled all around them and made it very difficult for them to hit the kind of shots they like to hit. Ivanovic broke Williams once; she was also broken once by Victoria Azarenka in the previous round.
Williams and Pavlyuchenkova have met only once, on clay in 2010, and Williams won in three sets.