With all four semifinalists in the women’s singles draw never having reached this stage of a grand slam before, it was Russia’s Pavlyuchenkova was secured the biggest win of her career with a hard-fought victory.
Both players struggled to hold their serve throughout the match.
Slovenian Zidanšek secured two breaks in the first set, including in the first game of the match, and two in the second, but Pavlyuchenkova recorded six breaks of her own, converting six of her 10 break points compared to Zidansek’s four of 11.
Pavlyuchenkova, who turns 30 next month, had reached six quarterfinals prior to this year’s Roland Garros, including last year’s Australian Open, with four of those coming since 2016.
And after 52 grand slam starts, she can now call herself a major finalist, where she will face either Barbora Krejčíková or Maria Sakkari on Saturday.
Ranked No. 32 in the world, the victory also means that Pavlyuchenkova will return to the top 20 in the rankings.
As for Zidansek, she will enter the top 50 for the first time having never previously progressed past the second round of a major.