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RTS UPDATE: PAVLYUCHENKOVA PUTS MARKER DOWN

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova made a big move up the Road To Singapore standings this week, shooting into the Top 10 after winning in Paris. The three Top 10 players she beat there also moved up.


While the four players leading the Road To Singapore standings stayed the same this week - Li Na, Dominika Cibulkova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Eugenie Bouchard - there was plenty of movement within the chasing pack following the tournaments in Paris and Pattaya.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova made a big move, rising from No.36 to No.9 following her first Premier-level title, in Paris. She has come close to qualifying for the WTA Championships before, finishing 2011 at No.16 on the WTA Rankings, but could this be the year she finally makes it?

"I'm really happy with how I started this year so far, so I'm just looking forward to keeping it up," Pavlyuchenkova said. "What makes this special is it's the biggest one I've won so far, and of course to beat so many good players gives me more confidence. But I still have to keep working hard."

Pavlyuchenkova overcame three Top 10 players en route to the title in the French capital and all three of them also made significant moves up the standings; Angelique Kerber going from No.8 to No.5, Maria Sharapova improving from No.14 to No.10 and Sara Errani rising from No.52 to No.14. All three have appeared at the WTA Championships before and are looking to return.

"I think my year has started well," Kerber, who played her first two WTA Championships the last two years, said. "I've had a lot of good matches and I'm feeling good at the start of the season right now. It was difficult coming from Melbourne to Paris but I think I made the adjustment well."

"Even though I lost in the final, I'm still very happy with my tournament here," Errani, who also played her first two WTA Championships the last two years, commented. "It was tough losing early in Australia but I played some very good matches from the first round here and I'm feeling good now."

Sharapova has had by far the most success of the three at the WTA Championships, winning the title in 2004 and reaching two more finals in 2007 (falling to Justine Henin) and 2012 (falling to Serena Williams). She's hoping her Road To Singapore brings here to the season finale for the seventh time.

In Paris, however, Sharapova fell in three sets to Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals, her second semifinal of the year - she was also a semifinalist at Brisbane (where she fell to Williams).

"The more I put myself in this position and get to the later rounds, the more challenges lay ahead of me, but that's why I love this sport and that's why I worked so hard to come back," she said.

"The challenges will only help me towards the rest of the year."

Elsewhere, Ekaterina Makarova, who won the Pattaya City title, went from No.17 to No.13 on the standings. Errani and Vinci still head the Road To Singapore leaderboard in doubles with a healthy lead over the next-closest team, Makarova and Elena Vesnina. The Italians have 2490 points, the Russians 1301.

Check out the full Road To Singapore standings for singles and here for doubles.




 

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