Teen dream: 19-year-old Iga Swiatek sets up French Open women’s final date with Sofia Kenin after dominant semi-final performance
The French Open trophy will carry e a new winner’s name this year after Polish teenager Iga Swiatek stormed into the final with a decisive win against Nadia Podoroska to set up a date with Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin.
Swiatek took just 70 minutes to bypass the challenge of Podoroska (6-2, 6-1) to reach her first ever major final, while Kenin, 21, triumphed over Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova (6-4, 7-5).
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Much of Swiatek’s performance came behind a powerful forehand shot which sometimes clocked more than 80 miles per hour and was employed numerous times throughout the 22 groundstroke winners she managed in the brief contest.
Podoroska, the first qualifier to ever reach the French Open women’s semi-final, occasionally threatened with her own forehand but wasn’t afforded any time to find a rhythm by the in-form Pole.
“I’m surprised,” Swiatek said afterward.
“But I always knew if I was going to reach a Grand Slam final it would be the French Open. It’s like a dream come true.
“I wanted to play this match as if it was the first round, I didn’t want to think it was a semi-final, because it would have stressed me out.”
She will have to maintain her form if she is to get past Australian Open champion Kenin, despite the American appearing more labored in her straight sets win against Kvitova – who was appearing in her first semi-final at Roland Garros since 2012.
Kenin was in the ascendancy early as she took an early 4-1 advantage in the first set. Two time Wimbledon champion Kvitova mounted a comeback but was unable to salvage the first set. She dropped serve twice in the second set, with the second at 5-5, affording Kenin an opportunity to serve for the match which she gratefully accepted.
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