PARIS, France – Qualifier Nadia Podoroska became the first Argentine women into the fourth round of Roland Garros since 2011 as she defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, 6-3, 6-2.
She emulated the feat of Gisela Dulko by claiming victory in an encounter that stretched one hour and 33 minutes and was rather more competitive than the one-sided scoreline might suggest.
"I felt really good. I played very solid," the Argentine assessed. "I didn't do too many mistakes. I served well too, so I felt very good."
The opening set lasted 70 minutes alone, and while the second was rather speedier, the Slovakian was combative until the last.
Each of the first three games of the match went in favor of the World No.131 but all were hard fought and that nearly half an hour had elapsed by the time the last of these was sealed was a reflection on how competitive they had been.
Podoroska was playing with greater punch than her 26-year-old opponent, able to force her rival out of court before capitalizing with a clean winner or drop shot.
Schmiedlova hit back to some extent as she got on the board by chasing down one of her opponent’s short balls then flicking it nicely down the line, then sealed a break as Podoroska lost some of her accuracy.
A medical time out for treatment on a knee injury, however, arrested the momentum of the Slovak and after a comfortable Podoroska hold she broke to secure the opening set.
It was at the beginning of the second that Podoroska really took command, claiming the first four games in rapid succession thanks to the loss of only three points.
Back to the wall, Schmiedlova steeled herself once more, hitting back with a couple of breaks. But she was unable to generate any traction on her serve and would win just three points on her delivery in the second set.
Podoroska, who was coming off a maiden Top 50 win against Yulia Putintseva in round two, bludgeoned her seventh break of the match to love as she finished with a flourish.
The South American’s second Grand Slam main draw experience will continue against either Barbora Krejcikova or Tvestana Pironkova in the fourth round.
"I do not see the draw, I just know who I am going to play next day, just to be focused on each match," she said. "I am focused on what, who I am going to play on Sunday I know, I don't know when, but just I'm thinking in match by match."