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FRENCH OPEN: Teenager Swiatek guns for maiden Slam title

Nobody gave her any chance at the start of the tournament as she was not one of the seeded players but the way Igar Swiatek demolished top seed Simona Halep in the fourth round will make everyone to rate her high when she faces another illustrious opponent Sofia Kenin in the final of the ongoing French Open.

Halep had arrived in Paris with claycourt titles from Prague and Rome and had demolished Amanda Anisimova, who shocked her in Paris last year, in 54 minutes in the third round. And she was expected to blow away the 19-year-old Swiatek but the Pole stunned her with a 6-1, 6-2 victory. The 19-year-old has established herself as one of the most exciting young talents in the game since winning the Wimbledon junior title two years ago and has been unstoppable in Paris so far having yet to lose a set en route to the final. The Pole with the huge forehand ended the surprising spell of a fellow unseeded player, Nadia Podoroska, with a 6-2 6-1 win in still blustery Paris to become the first player from her country to reach the finale at Roland Garros in the Open Era.

“I’m kind of surprised. Before the tournament, I didn’t think I could play so good here. On the other hand, I knew that if I was going to be in a Grand Slam final it would be here at the French Open. I love it here.

This is a dream come true,” said Swiatek. Kenin’s path to the final has been substantially tougher; including her 6-4 7-5 win over Petra Kvitova in the second semifinal when the wind kicked up further.

Kenin simply played the big points better, converting four out of five break chances compared to two out of 12 for two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova. While Swiatek’s last two opponents might have been ranked outside the top 100, they were certainly in form. And look who Swiatek beat in the first four rounds — last year’s finalist Marketa Vondrousova, crafty doubles grand slam winner Hsieh Su-Wei, resurgent former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard and two-time grand slam winner Halep. It is going to be another exciting upset if Swiatek defeats Kenin on Saturday but the youngster is overwhelmed with her performance in the tournament so far. “I’m just happy I’m in the final. I don’t care what’s going to happen. It’s just overwhelming for me,” she said.


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