Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was simply too dominant in her China Open first round clash against Lauren Davis, who has won just six of the last 27 matches. The Russian was firing on all cylinders throughout this one-sided encounter, fending off the two break points she faced and thus earning her second win over the American this year.
Pavlyuchenkova now awaits the winner between Wang Qiang and Caroline Wozniacki in the second round, with the Russian already defeating Wang in Tokyo but also lost to Wozniacki in the same week.
Pavlyuchenkova off to great start
Davis started the match serving and the early jitters surely got to her as Pavlyuchenkova earned the lead in the opening game. The American was unable to consistently find her first serves, and her vulnerable second deliveries were just too poor to challenge the powerful groundstrokes of the Russian as they were punished with some aggressive returns. Pavlyuchenkova easily consolidated the break before Davis finally got onto the scoreboard with a tight service hold, surviving a 10-point service game to lessen the deficit to just one solitary game.
Pavlyuchenkova strolls to win the first set
Pavlyuchenkova continued to look untouchable on her serve, looking very solid at the baseline as she was able to overpower the faltering Davis in every aspect of the game. The American was also unable to find the rhythm on her groundstrokes, eventually getting a second straight break for a 4-1 lead. Rattling off 16 of the last 21 points in the first set, Pavlyuchenkova ultimately clinched the first set 6-1 without facing many problems, looking in top form.
Davis puts up tough fight but Pavlyuchenkova just too good
A coaching time-out between the two sets seemed to have worked well for the American as she managed to earn a break point in the opening game of the second set. Nonetheless, Pavlyuchenkova fended it off with a powerful forehand winner down-the-line, and eventually sealed her opening service game as her aggression was just too good for her opponent. Davis looked out-of-sorts, gifting the Russian her third consecutive break of serve and allowed her to lead by a set and a break.
The Russian claims the win in 57 minutes
Pavlyuchenkova was simply unstoppable, with both her forehands and backhands looking very solid and consistent, firing on all cylinders. Davis slowly found her momentum as she earned yet another break point, but once again she failed to convert it after sending a return straight into the net.
The Russian went on to claim seven of the next eight points to open up a 4-0 lead in the second set before producing a good service hold to be just a game away from the incredible victory. Davis finally had her long-awaited service hold as she comfortably held her serve to love while being down 0-5, preventing the bagel scoreline being inflicted on her. Nonetheless, Pavlyuchenkova remained calm despite being faced with the pressure of closing out the match, eventually being third-time lucky and converting on her third match point to seal the one-sided victory.