French Open: Barty/Dellacqua produce excellent performance to oust Gavrilova/Pavlyuchenkova

Former three-time Grand Slam finalists Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua returns to the French Open with a bang as they progressed to the quarterfinals with a win over compatriot Daria Gavrilova and the dangerous Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

French Open: Barty/Dellacqua produce excellent performance to oust Gavrilova/Pavlyuchenkova
Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua discuss tactics during the match | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe
Barty/Dellacqua
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Gavrilova/Pavlyuchenkova

Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua seemed to have found their best tennis when they carved a tough victory over the dangerous Daria Gavrilova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who ousted fourth seeds Sania Mirza and Yaroslava Shvedova in the opening round of the French Open. This sets the all-Australian pairing up for a spot in their first Grand Slam semifinal as they would be the huge favourites in their quarterfinal match against Irina-Camelia Begu and Zheng Saisai.

Barty/Dellacqua battles to win the first set

Barty/Dellacqua had a very slow start to the match as the youngest of the three Australians on the court was broken in the opening game after Gavrilova and Pavlyuchenkova produced some great returns and was fairly solid at the baseline to overwhelm Barty, who was outhit at the baseline. Nevertheless, the pair who reached three Grand Slam finals back in 2013 produced an immediate reply as Pavlyuchenkova lost her opening service game, allowing the favourites to find a way back to level the scores. The all-Australian pair then had an easy path to jumping out to an early 3-1 lead, looking on course to seal the first set in a hurry.

Ashleigh Barty hits a smash in the match | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe
Ashleigh Barty hits a smash in the match | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe

However, Barty lost her serve for the second time in a row as she was unable to handle the powerful groundstrokes by her opponents, causing the scores to be level once more. Some errors at the net by the Russian then saw the underdogs lose their serves, with Barty given the chance to serve out the set. Unexpectedly, she was still unable to produce some great serves as she was still being overwhelmed back at the baseline, and saw her being broken for the third consecutive time to allow the Russian-Australian pairing to break straight back and return level on serve.

The underdogs missed a golden opportunity to gain the lead as Dellacqua faced a break point in her service game for the first time, but Pavlyuchenkova once again made a costly error by hitting a huge forehand into the net, allowing her opponents to eventually hold serve and the set was brought into a tiebreak to decide its winner. Experience showed its worth in the tiebreak as Barty and Dellacqua strolled to win it with a dominating 7-2 scoreline, sealing the first set after 53 minutes of play.

Daria Gavrilova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova discuss tactics during the match | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe
Daria Gavrilova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova discuss tactics during the match | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Gavrilova/Pavlyuchenkova fails to complete their comeback

After three consecutive service breaks to start the second set with, Barty finally had her first service hold of the day as she managed to consolidate the break from the previous game, jumping out to a huge 3-1 lead. The Australian pairing then looked poised for the excellent victory when they had a double break advantage, with Gavrilova and Pavlyuchenkova slowly faltering away as they lost the momentum and started to make countless unforced errors.

However, they immediately broke straight back and looked to mount a comeback when they won eight of the next 11 points, lessening the deficit to just one single game. Nevertheless, the former Grand Slam finalists remained composed and soon found themselves just one game away from victory with Dellacqua the one with the duty of serving the match out. The Australian did not disappoint her fans as she completed the job, coming up with some impressive lefty serves and held her serve to love, closing the win out after just 1 hour and 33 minutes, sending the all-Australian pair into the quarterfinals.

All four players share warm handshakes and hugs at the net after the match | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe
All four players share warm handshakes and hugs at the net after the match | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe