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Watch: Pavlyuchenkova, Krejcikova react to their breakthrough journeys to the French Open final

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will play Barbora Krejcikova for the French Open title after the Russian reached her first Grand Slam final Thursday at a record 52nd attempt, while the Czech saved a match point in a dramatic win over Maria Sakkari.

Pavlyuchenkova defeated world number 85 Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 7-5, 6-3, with the unseeded Krejcikova fighting back from the brink to outlast Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 after three hours and 18 minutes.

French Open: Barbora Krejcikova, an unseeded finalist after an unusual semi-final

Pavlyuchenkova, a quarter-finalist in Paris a decade ago, became the first woman to play more than 50 majors before making her first final, breaking the previous mark of 44 set by 2015 US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci.

“It’s been a long road. I had my own long special road. Everybody has different ways. I’m just happy I’m in the final,” said the 29-year-old Pavlyuchenkova, who made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon in 2007.

The 31st seed dropped serve in the opening game on a sun-drenched Court Philippe Chatrier but capitalised on a fourth break point against Zidansek to break back for 2-2.

Pavlyuchenkova, a former junior world number one and Roland Garros girls’ singles finalist in 2006, surged 5-3 ahead…

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