Teen test for Kenin in final
Polish teenager Iga Swiatek became the youngest player to reach the French Open women’s final in 19 years, continuing her bulldozing run at Roland Garros with a 6-2, 6-1 dismantling of Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska on Thursday.
The 19-year-old will play Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin on Saturday in her first Grand Slam final. Kenin’s amazing year continued as she outmanoeuvred big-hitting Czech Petra Kvitova 6-4, 7-5 in the other semi-final.
World No. 131 Podoroska, who was looking to become the first qualifier to reach a major final in men’s or women’s singles, had no answer to Swiatek’s powerful groundstrokes and sleek movement.
Swiatek had broken serve 27 times en route to the last four and added five more before finishing off the one-sided contest on Court Philippe Chatrier in 69 minutes.
“I’m kind of pleasantly surprised, really. I always knew that if I would be in a Grand Slam final, it would be at the French Open,” she said, 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.
Swiatek is the youngest player to reach the women's final at Roland Garros since Kim Clijsters in 2001.
The Moscow-born 21-year-old Kenin produced a masterclass of game management on a windy evening.
Fourth seed Kenin, who beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza to win the Australian Open in February, proved too solid for the 30-year-old Kvitova who had not lost a set en route to her first French Open semi-final since 2012.
“I had tough matches these past two weeks. It’s amazing to be in the final,” Kenin said on court. “I’m going to enjoy it and then tomorrow get ready for the final.”
For seventh seed Kvitova, who made her return here in 2017 after a six-month lay-off due to a knife attack during a burglary at her home, it was a disappointing end to a tournament in which the door to a first French Open title had opened wide.