Since none of the four semi-finalists in the women’s singles draw had ever reached this stage of a grand slam, it was Russian Pavlyuchenkova who secured the biggest victory of her career with a hard-fought victory.
Both players struggled to hold their serves throughout the game.
Slovenian Zidanšek took two breaks in the first set, including the first game of the game and two in the second, but Pavlyuchenkova recorded six breaks of her own and converted six of her 10 breakpoints compared to Zidansek’s four out of 11.
Pavlyuchenkova, who will turn 30 next month, had reached six quarter-finals ahead of this year’s Roland Garros, including last year’s Australian Open, four of them since 2016.
And after 52 Grand Slam starts, she can now call herself a major finalist, where she will meet either Barbora Krejčíková or Maria Sakkari on Saturday.
At number 32 in the world rankings, the win also means that Pavlyuchenkova will return to the top 20 of the rankings.
Zidansek will get into the top 50 for the first time as she has never got past the second round of a major before.