Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova dashed the hopes of the local crowd as she defeated Aussie Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-1 in the first round of the wta Apia International Sydney. The victory was the Russian's third straight over the Aussie, who continues to have issues playing in her home country.
Stosur will want to try shake that when her home slam rolls round sooner rather than later.
Pavlyuchenkova breezes through first set
The Russian struck first with a break of serve in the third game for a 2-1 lead. Her powerful serve led her to a consolidation of the break and she was quickly back on the offensive with an insurance break for a 4-1 lead.
The lead would grow to 5-1 before Stosur made a mini-charge. A hold followed by a break, a game which she trailed 30-0 in, drew her to within 5-3. Now with some pressure on her for the first time, Pavlyuchenkova served to close out the set and she did so, her backhand on set point helping her finish the job in 34 minutes.
Pavlyuchenkova rolls through second set to progress to round two
The Russian was immediately on the front foot as the second set opened up, breaking Stosur for an immediate lead. With her game seemingly disappearing, the Aussie was broken again and now trailed 3-0.'
The situation didn't get any better as Pavlyuchenkova was now in full flight, her offensive groundstrokes carrying her to an eventual 5-0 lead before Stosur got on the board with a hold. Still, it was much too little, much too late as Pavlyuchenkova comfortably served out the win.
Fellow Russian awaits in second round
Compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova is up next for Pavlyuchenkova in the second round. Kuznetsova has dominated the matchup, winning five of their previous six encounters.