In a match-up between the oldest and youngest players in the Top 20, it was the 19-year-old, No.14-seeded Pavlyuchenkova who came out dialled in, hitting her glamorous groundstrokes to perfection to win the 27-minute first set and build a 4-1 second set lead; but errors started creeping in, and Schiavone sensed it.
Schiavone, 30 years old and seeded No.5, cut back on her own errors and started using her full all-court arsenal - as well as her big heart - to claim the second set. She carried that winning momentum to a 5-1 third set lead.
Pavlyuchenkova wasn't finished, winning four straight games to even the decider at 5-all, but Schiavone hung on just enough, missing out on two match points as her young Russian opponent blasted forehand winners; but with one last forehand get and a subsequent backhand passing shot, the Italian closed it out.
Schiavone scored her 12th straight win at Roland Garros, going 7-0 to win last year's title and 5-0 this year. She is also the first 30-something to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since last year's US Open, when Venus Williams achieved it.
Pavlyuchenkova was playing in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. She had taken out No.3 seed Vera Zvonareva in the last round and was trying to become the first teenager to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Caroline Wozniacki and Yanina Wickmayer both made the final four at the 2009 US Open.