“But now I won and I really love this tournament and I love clay. So, you know, it's always like this.”
Azarenka fell short of emerging on top on the scoreboard but there was one notable positive she would take from her trip to Paris.
After a difficult first half of the season she was finally playing again without injuries.
“Definitely I felt that I was a bit less sharp. I didn't take my opportunities when I had them. The momentum shifted, for sure,” Azarenka said.
“There's always some positives. The most positive thing I will say from this week, not the whole season, is that I've been able to play pain-free. That was my goal here.”
Pavlyuchenkova, too, has experienced her share of troubles since the Tour resumed.
She kicked off 2020 in style as she downed top-20 opponents Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber in succession to march into the Australian Open quarter-finals.
It matched her career-best run at a major, but the joy of competing inexplicably waned and her subsequent results began to show it.