PARIS, France – Iga Swiatek will be the first Polish woman to play in the final of Roland Garros during the Open Eta after dismantling qualifier Nadia Podoroska, 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals.
The 19-year-old WTA World No.53, who is also into the doubles semifinals along with Nicole Melichar, had lost just 20 games in her five matches prior to her final-four clash and maintained her smooth sailing in Paris by winning in 70 minutes.
While Podoroska, who was bidding to become the first qualifier ever to make it into the final of a major, as well as just the second Argentine lady, won the first couple of points of the match, her early confidence was soon evaporated by the power and precision of her rival.
In total, Swiatek broke on five occasions, while she hit 23 winners in the type of commanding performance that has become her custom over the past fortnight.
“I’m kind of surprised! I never thought before the tournament I would play so well. But I always knew that if I was going to make a final of a Grand Slam, it would be the French Open,” she admitted.
“This is what I planned to move. I wanted to play this match as if it was a first round. I didn’t want to think about being in the semifinal because it would stress me. I just kept being aggressive, like in the previous matches. I’m feeling lucky that I’m feeling good and nothing hurts.”
The early signs were that it would be a more competitive match. Podoroska played the opening two points with authority and forced deuce as Swiatek served in the opening game.
Swiatek has specialized in success on her opponents’ serves for the duration of her time in Paris, and that was maintained at the outset of this encounter. Having broken Martina Trevisan in six of eight occasions in the quarters, she started the semi by breaking to 15.
Some impressive hustling from Podoroska allowed her to stay in touch with two holds, but the 23-year-old missed her sole break point of the frame by going wide and would never get a serious look at the Swiatek serve again.
Indeed, Swiatek increased her domination from that point, holding to love then sealing the set in 36 minutes at the third opportunity as her opponent fired into the net.
The momentum continued into the second as Swiatek showed her game is about more than hard hitting as she athletically chased down a drop en route to the opening game.
A matter of minutes later, the screw was turned as the teenager boasted a 4-0 advantage, drilling a forehand to break in the first instance then executing a superb lob on the way to a second.
Podoroska did succeed in breathing some life into the match with a determined break to stop the run of six games against her only to lose her own serve for a fourth successive time.
Swiatek confidently served out the match and only Sofia Kenin or Petra Kvitova will stand in the way of her becoming Poland’s first major winner in Saturday’s final.
“Petra has been a superstar has been a superstar for many years and Sofia has been on fire this year. But I don’t want to think about it right now, I’m just happy I’m in the final,” she said.