Iga Swiatek is simply 19. She’s ranked 54th. She’s by no means received a tour-level title. She’d by no means been previous the fourth spherical at a Grand Slam match. And she or he’s as dominant as might be up to now on the French Open.
Poland’s Swiatek turned the lowest-ranked girls’s finalist at Roland Garros because the WTA pc rankings started in 1975, advancing along with her newest lopsided win, this one 6-2, 6-1 in opposition to Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska on Thursday.
Swiatek has received all 12 units she’s performed within the match and dropped merely 23 video games by a half-dozen matches up to now.
When this 70-minute tour de pressure ended earlier than a crowd within the lots of at Courtroom Philippe Chatrier — there was a every day restrict on spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic — Swiatek requested for extra noise, waving her arms and cupping a hand to her ear.
WATCH | Swiatek wins battle of unseeded opponents in girls’s semis:
In Saturday’s last, Swiatek will face a seeded opponent who already has been a Grand Slam champion: No. Four Sofia Kenin or No. 7 Petra Kvitova, who had been scheduled to play one another later Thursday.
Swiatek vs. Podoroska was the primary girls’s semifinal at Roland Garros between unseeded opponents since 1983 — and just one, Swiatek, really appeared prepared for the stage.
Podoroska is ranked 131st, had by no means received a main-draw Grand Slam match till this occasion and was the primary feminine qualifier within the skilled period to get to the ultimate 4 in Paris.
Simply in case somebody would possibly get the concept this was a fluke for Swiatek, who listens to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Weapons N’ Roses in her headphones earlier than stepping out on court docket: She eradicated 2018 champion and No. 1 seed Simona Halep 6-1, 6-2 within the fourth spherical, after defeating 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova by the identical rating within the first.
Swiatek (pronounced shvee-ON’-tek) has been on the rise, and the tennis world’s radar, for a few years now.
In 2018, she received the Wimbledon junior singles title and the French Open junior doubles title (with Coco Gauff’s present accomplice, Caty McNally).
Swiatek chasing historical past in doubles match
Now Swiatek is chasing a novel two-fer in Paris: She’s made it into the doubles semifinals with American Nicole Melichar, too, giving her an opportunity to develop into the primary participant since Mary Pierce in 2000 to win the ladies’s singles and doubles trophies in Paris in the identical 12 months.
Swiatek does it with great play on the baseline, choosing up balls early and smacking large groundstrokes with thick topspin. Her energy was an excessive amount of on this breezy afternoon, accounting for a 23-6 edge in winners in opposition to Podoroska, a 23-year-old from the identical city as soccer celebrity Lionel Messi.
One other key to success for Swiatek, whose father was an Olympic rower, is her returning capability.
She broke for a 3-Zero lead by smacking a backhand return winner, adopted by one other return so good that it pressured Podoroska right into a mistake. Swiatek entered this contest averaging 5.Four breaks per match and she or he added 5 extra to her whole.
After which there is a less-measurable issue — Swiatek’s competitiveness and grit. The one time she misplaced a service sport, making it 4-1 within the second set, she swiped on the dust close to the baseline along with her racket.
Then she buckled down and broke proper again.