French open: Kenin to play Iga in final

PARIS, OCT 8 (AGENCIES): | Publish Date: 10/8/2020 12:29:05 PM IST

 The French Open women’s final will be contested between Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin and Polish teenager Iga Swiatek after two contrasting displays in their semi-finals.

Swiatek, 19, needed only 70 minutes to beat the Argentine Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-1 to reach her first major final. American Kenin, 21, overcame Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova 6-4 7-5.

Fourth seed Kenin produced controlled tennis but had to save 10 break-points against the two-time major winner.

“Sofia is on fire this year,” said Swiatek after her win over the world number 131. “I don’t want to think about it - I’m just happy I’m in the final.” Having overwhelmed Romanian top seed Simona Halep in the fourth round, Swiatek will not fear Melbourne champion Kenin. Kenin who defended brilliantly against Kvitova will have to produce a repeat performance against a Swiatek forehand which at times reached 80mph-plus against Podoroska. The teenager produced 11 groundstroke winners on that side, out of a total of 22.

Podoroska, the first qualifier in the Open era to reach the French Open women’s semi-final, also has a strong forehand side but was never given a chance to get into her rhythm. The 23-year-old’s only bright moment came in the fifth game of the second set when she broke the Pole, although she needed four bites at it. Swiatek broke back straight away before serving out for victory at a cold and breezy Philippe Chatrier.

“I’m surprised,” Swiatek said of her run to the final. “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.”

Swiatek is only the second woman from Poland to reach the final at Roland Garros - the last was Jadwiga Jedrzejowska, who finished runner-up in 1939.

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