Teenager Iga Swiatek became the first Polish woman in the Open era to advance to the French Open final with another swashbuckling display.
In one of the most unexpected Grand Slam semi-finals in recent times, Swiatek fully justified her status as favourite with a 6-2 6-1 victory over Nadia Podoroska in windy conditions at Roland Garros.
The 19-year-old has established herself as one of the most exciting young talents in the game since winning the Wimbledon junior title two years ago and has been unstoppable in Paris so far having yet to lose a set en route to the final.
Welcome to the big stage, @iga_swiatek 💪#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/g9xX7C1JkA
“I’m kind of surprised. Before the tournament, I didn’t think I could play so good here. On the other hand, I knew that if I was going to be in a Grand Slam final it would be here at the French Open. I love it here. This is a dream come true,” said Swiatek, who is back on court on Friday for a women’s doubles semi-final alongside her American partner Nicole Melichar.
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Her quarter-final demolition of top seed Simona Halep was the stand-out, but the way Swiatek has backed that up has been just as impressive and she is yet to drop more than four games in any set.
The Pole will contest just her second Tour-level final after losing to Polona Hercog at the low-key WTA tournament in Lugano last year.
The stakes here are considerably higher, with Swiatek moving on to face either Petra Kvitova or Sofia Kenin for a prize packet of nearly £1.5m.
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Congratulations to @iga_swiatek, who has made history @rolandgarros as the first Polish woman in the Open Era to reach the tournament’s finals. #RolandGarros https://t.co/wB0L69nwks
Defeat ends the remarkable run of world No 131 Podoroska, the lowest-ranked player to reach the semi-finals in Paris in the Open era.
She was unable to find any answer to the all-round skills of Swiatek but the 23-year-old, who was competing in the main draw of a Grand Slam for just the second time, will break into the world’s top 50 on Monday.
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