Polish teenager Iga Swiatek becomes youngest woman to reach French Open final in 19 YEARS as she thrashes Nadia Podoroska in straight sets to book showdown with Sofia Kenin
- Swiatek has lost just 23 games during this tournament and is yet to drop a set
- Podoroska could have become the first qualifier to make a Grand Slam final
- Sofia Kenin is Swiatek’s opponent in the final after she defeated Petra Kvitova
Polish teenager Iga Swiatek became the youngest player to reach the French Open women’s final in 19 years when she powered past Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska 6-2, 6-1 on Thursday.
The 19-year-old will on Saturday meet Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, who defeated Petra Kvitova 6-4 7-5, in her maiden final appearance at a major.
World number 131 Podoroska, who was looking to become the first qualifier to reach a final at a major in either the men’s or women’s singles draw, had no answer to Swiatek’s powerful groundstrokes and sleek movement on court.
Teenager Iga Swiatek has lost just 23 games en route to her first Grand Slam singles final
Swiatek had broken serve 27 times en route to the last four stage and added five more to that count before finishing off the one-sided contest on Court Philippe-Chatrier in 69 minutes.
‘I’m kind of surprised, really. I always knew that if I would be in a Grand Slam final, it would be at the French Open,’ Swiatek said on court after becoming the first Polish woman to reach the Roland Garros final in 81 years and the first at any major since Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon eight years ago.
‘I wanted to play this match as a first-round match, I didn’t want to think of it as a semi-final otherwise I would have been too stressed. I just wanted to be aggressive like previous matches. I’m feeling good and like nothing hurts me.’
Nadia Podoroska was looking to make history but struggled to contain the energetic Pole
Swiatek, the youngest player to reach the women’s final at Roland Garros since Kim Clijsters in 2001, looked to impose herself on the match early and jumped to a 3-0 lead.
She managed to hit through the court well, both off the forehand and backhand, and painted the red clay with winners.
Unable to put up much resistance, Podoroska decided to show more aggression and started coming forward more to cut down the time for Swiatek to hit her big shots.
That helped her hold two service games but was not enough to derail Swiatek, who faced just a single break point in the opening set.
Sofia Kenin will be looking to win her second Grand Slam of 2020 after beating Petra Kvitova
Podoroska, who has earned more by reaching the semi-finals in Paris than she had made in her entire career before this tournament, would have hoped for the tide to turn in the second set, but there was no respite.
Swiatek, who will also play the doubles semi-final on Friday, kept up the tempo and raced to a 4-0 lead before some nervous errors allowed Podoroska to avoid a second-set bagel with a break of serve.
Yet the Pole, who has lost only 23 games in six matches, broke back immediately and ended Podoroska’s ordeal on the first match point with an unreturned serve.
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