It was a dream come true for the young Polish sensation Iga Swiatek as she defeated Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-1 at the French Open semi-final on Thursday to reach her maiden grand slam final.
Swiatek, 19, had not previously made it beyond round four at a major but became the first Polish woman in the Open Era to reach the Roland Garros showpiece by dismantling Podoroska in 70 minutes. The world number 54, who is also in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles, maintained her record of not dropping a set in the tournament.
Nadia Podoroska, ranked 131st in the world, fell short in her bid to become the first qualifier to reach a grand slam final in the Open era as Swiatek simply proved too good on a windy Court Philippe-Chatrier.
“I wanted to play this match as if it was the first round because I didn’t want the stress of thinking I was in the semi-final,” Swiatek said in a post-match interview. “I feel really lucky that I’m feeling good and nothing hurts me. I hope I’m going to play a great doubles match tomorrow and singles in two days.”
Swiatek also defeated the no. 1 seed Simona Halep enroute her journey. In her semi-final match,she came out firing and her powerful forehand proved too much for Podoroska, who dropped her opening service game and was soon 3-0 down. The Argentinian managed to stop Swiatek running away with it but a wide forehand saw her pass up an opportunity to get the contest back on serve in game five. Podoroska was unable to hold serve to stay in the set, with the 19-year-old applying too much pressure and wrapping it up after 36 minutes.
An excellent lob shot from the net preceded a long forehand from Podoroska as Swiatek moved a double break up, but the 23-year-old dug in and immediately took one back. It was just delaying the inevitable, though, as Swiatek became the seventh unseeded player to reach the Roland Garros final in the Open Era.
She will face Petra Kvitova for the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.