Polish teenager Swiatek downs Podoroska to reach French Open final

Friday, 9 October 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Iga Swiatek plays a shot against Nadia Podoroska in the French Open semifinal match today - AP 

PARIS (Reuters): Polish teenager Iga Swiatek became the youngest player to reach the French Open women’s final in 19 years, when she crushed Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-1 on Thursday.

The 19-year-old will meet either Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin or two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, who face each other on Thursday, in her maiden final appearance at a major.

Swiatek had too much poise and power for world number 131 Podoroska, who was looking to become the first qualifier to reach a final at a major in either the men’s or women’s singles draws.

“I’m kind of surprised, really. I always knew that if I would be in a Grand Slam final, it would be at the French Open. I wanted to play this match as a first-round match. I didn’t want to think of it as a semi-final otherwise I would have been too stressed,” Swiatek said on court.

Swiatek, the youngest player to reach the women’s final at Roland Garros since Kim Clijsters in 2001, raced to a 3-0 lead and never released her grip on the opening set despite a poor first-service percentage.

The second set was a mere formality for world number 54 Swiatek, who has lost only 23 games in her six matches at Roland Garros. She ended Podoroska’s ordeal on the first match point with a service winner.