Slovenia’s world No. 85 Tamara Zidansek’s dream run at the French Open continued as he delivered a masterful performance to beat a higher-ranked Romanian Sorana Cirstea 7-6(4), 6-1 and move into her first Grand Slam quarter-final on Sunday.
Tamara will meet Paula Badosa of Spain in the quarterfinals. World No.35 Paula defeated Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Tamara, 23, also became the first Slovenian player to enter the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam event since the country attained independence in 1991.
Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 29, fought back from a set down to beat No.15 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 and enter the quarter-finals 10 years after her maiden French Open quarter-final appearance, in 2011.
This is the seventh Grand Slam quarter-final for Anastasia, and her first outside Australia in five years.
Anastasia will meet the winner of the pre-quarterfinal match between No.7 seed American Serena Williams and No.17 seed from Kazakhstan Elena Rybakina, who play later on Sunday.
Prior to Sunday, Tamara had never got past the second round in a Grand Slam, but she had given an indication of her potential when she had accounted for No.6 seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada in the first round.
The best a Slovenian player has gone in major was former world No.20 Katarina Srebotnik who made it to the fourth round of the French Open in 2002 and 2008, and the US Open in 2008.
Tamara showed great composure that belied her rookie status, saving six out of the seven break points she faced, including a set point at 5-6 in the first set.
Sorana, the 54th ranked Romanian, who had been seeking her second Grand Slam quarter-final place since the 2009 French Open, committed several double faults, including giving up a double break with consecutive double faults.