The French Open trophy will have a new winner this year after Polish teen Iga Swiatek stormed into the final with a decisive win over Nadia Podoroska to set up an appointment with Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin.
Swiatek only needed 70 minutes to avoid the challenge from Podoroska (6-2, 6-1) and reach their first big final, while Kenin, 21, beat Czech seventh Petra Kvitova (6-4, 7-5) triumphed.
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Much of Swiatek’s performance was attributed to a powerful forehand shot, sometimes exceeding 80 mph and used multiple times during the 22 groundstroke winners she managed in the short competition.
Podoroska, the first qualifier to ever reach the French Open women’s semi-finals, occasionally threatened their own forehand but had no time to find a rhythm through the formally strong Poland.
“I’m surprised,” said Swiatek afterwards.
“But I always knew if I got to a Grand Slam final it would be the French Open. It’s like a dream come true.”
“I wanted to play this game like it was the first round. I didn’t want to believe it was a semi-final because it would have stressed me out.”
She has to maintain her form to get past Australian Open champion Kenin, although the American appears to be more of a pain in her straight-set win against Kvitova, who appeared in her first semi-final at Roland Garros since 2012.
Kenin was on the up early when she took an early 4-1 advantage in the first set. The two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova celebrated a comeback, but could not save the first set. She dropped serve twice in the second set, the second 5-5, giving Kenin the opportunity to serve for the match she gratefully accepted.
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