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Tennis News • Zverev, Pavlyuchenkova Survive Sudden Deaths For Titles At UTS2

Zverev, Pavlyuchenkova survive sudden deaths for titles at UTS2

By Ricky Dimon

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won the first-ever women’s UTS event on Sunday night, battling past Alize Cornet 16-8, 12-11, 11-14, 9-16, 3-2 in a sudden-death final. A back-and-forth championship match saw Pavlyuchenkova lead two quarters to love, lose the next two, and then fight off a championship point before finally prevailing. The Russian, nicknamed “The Thunder” at UTS, thus lifted the lightning bolt trophy.

Cornet forced sudden death by winning the fourth quarter to tie up the match at 2-2, but it was not to be for the Frenchwoman in the end. The sudden-death format would be decided whenever a player won two points in a row, and that was Pavlyuchenkova. After splitting the first two points, the world No. 30 saved a championship point when Cornet attempted a drop-shot that wasn’t good enough. Pavlyuchenkova then survived a long rally to clinch the title.

The men’s title tilt was a rematch of Saturday’s showdown between automatic semifinalists Alexander Zverev and Felix Auger-Aliassime. For the second straight day, Zverev had the upper hand in sudden death.

Auger-Aliassime led two quarters to one, but the 23-year-old German dominated the fourth quarter and then–like Pavlyuchenkova before him–fought off one championship point before triumphing.

“I am not drunk yet,” Zverev said when commentator Pete Odgers asked The Lion for a victory roar. “Give me two hours and I will give you a better one. I didn’t know I won after the last point. I thought on the last point I needed to win my serve.”

The world No. 7 was also asked about his prospects of playing the U.S. Open, which is still scheduled for late August and early September.

“I will see because the situation right now in the US is not that great, so I don’t know what we will decide with my team,” Zverev said in an interview with Tennis Majors. “I want to play tournaments, but I think the US right now is a little bit of a funny place.

“I think I’ll just see how it develops over the next few weeks, if the cases go up, how the traveling will be, and if it will be safe. I might not go there if I don’t feel safe; (if) my team doesn’t feel safe. I’m still quite young but everybody that is involved with me maybe is a little bit older and they’re in more danger than I am.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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