2012 CitiOpen: Semifinalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
Top seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova easily advanced to the CitiOpen semifinals in Washington this week. It’s the first time in a while that things have been so easy for the 21-year-old Russian. In a post-match press conference on Thursday night after defeating Kai-Chen Chang, she didn’t hold back on her early season disappointments. She also made it clear that she’s back on form.
Can you tell me about beating Chang today in straight sets after a big comeback in the first set?
I had a slow start today, and it was really tough conditions, very humid. It wasn’t my best match today at all. Chang got a bit of confidence after winning those first few games. I kept on going and trying to find my energy. I’m happy to pull through.
Last year at this time, you were poised to crack the top 10. A year later, you seem to be on an upward trajectory again.
It was a really good year last year. It was a really bad start this year. I didn’t feel good at all and I lost a bit of confidence. I was struggling with my shoulder issue. I missed the Olympics. It made me stronger, so now I have a different mentality overall and I think I am more focused and playing better.
Are you ready to defend your success at the US Open after making the quarterfinals last year?
I don’t think about defending points and I don’t try to focus on last year’s results. I have nothing to lose. Nothing can be worse than the beginning of this year. I’m happy that I’m coming back. I did let myself down after my results recently this year. I’m trying to play better than last year. Who knows, maybe I’ll do even better at this year’s US Open.
Are you satisfied with your performance at CitiOpen thus far?
I’m quite happy with my performance here, even compared to a few weeks before when I played on clay. Maybe I’m just more aggressive here. I treasure and I’m happy with every win. The game was always there. I’m motivated to do well here, and so far it’s going pretty good.
Any chance to enjoy the sights of D.C.?
Not too much. It’s really hot, so I want to spend as much time as possible inside a building. We’re staying close to the White House, so I kind of looked around. Unfortunately, I missed the tour of the White House yesterday because I was playing.