Iga Swiatek became the seventh unseeded women’s singles player to reach the French Open final after she crushed Argentinian qualifier Nadia Podoroska in the first semifinal at Roland-Garros on Thursday.
Following on the footsteps of Jelena Ostapenko (2017) and Marketa Vondrousova (2019), who were both unseeded when they reached the title-decider at Roland-Garros, Swiatek was unstoppable in her 6-2, 6-1 win over Podoroska and now meets one of Petra Kvitova or Sofia Kenin.
Podoroska, the only qualifier in the open era to have made French Open semifinal looked to have found it tougher to adjust to the windy conditions and Swiatek’s power-packed game and went down in little over an hour.
Podoroska started off with a 30-0 start on Swiatek’s first service game only to lose the next four games and was then broken in the very next game. There was no stopping Swiatek on her serve as she took a 3-0 lead before the Argentine finally got on the board with a difficult hold.
It was in the fifth game Podoroska finally showed signs of why she deserved to be in the semifinal, earning herself her break point of the set point only to squander that and the game.
Both players won a game apiece off their respective serves next up before Swiatek managed to carve out two more break-points – and set-points on the Podoroska serve. While the Argentine saved both of them, Swiatek helped herself to a third set-point inducing an error out of her opponent’s serve to win the set 6-2.
Swiatek wasted no time in finding her serve in the first game of the second set while Podoroska struggled to get off the blocks again. She faced a couple of break-points immediately and while she saved both, the Argentine was broken off the third one.
And as if to prove there would be no returning for Podoroska in the match, Swiatek raced off to win the next game to love and take a 3-0 lead yet again.
This time, however, there wasn’t even a semblance of a fightback from Podoroska who was broken to 15 off the very next game. While she broke back to win her first game of the set after getting four chances to do so, the Polish player broke right back in a jiffy to get herself a chance to serve for the match.
Two solid winners gave her the first match-point and that’s all she needed to convert and clinch the match, marching into the final without any worries.
The second semifinal in the women’s singles draw will see Petra Kvitova taking on Sofia Kenin. Tomorrow, the men’s singles semifinals will see Rafael Nadal up against Diego Schwartzman and Novak Djokovic playing Stefanos Tsitsipas.