Michel Euler/Associated Press
Iga Swiatek and Sofia Kenin are on a collision course for the women’s singles final of the 2020 French Open on Saturday.
Swiatek quickly dispatched Nadia Podoroska in Thursday’s first semifinal, winning 6-2, 6-1. Kenin, the fourth-seeded player in the tournament, defeated No. 7 Petra Kvitova 6-4, 7-5.
The two will be back in action this weekend at Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris.
When: Saturday, Oct. 10, at 9 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCSports.com
This is Swiatek and Kenin’s second meeting in the French capital.
WTA Insider @WTA_insider
Saturday’s final @rolandgarros between 21yo 🇺🇸 Sofia Kenin and 19yo 🇵🇱 Iga Swiatek is the 1st Slam final between two 21-and-unders since 2008 Australian Open (20yo Sharapova d. 20yo Ivanovic).
The two faced off in the 2016 Roland Garros girls event. Swiatek won 64 75.
Based on their seeding, Swiatek would be the obvious underdog. She entered the French Open as the No. 54 player in the WTA rankings.
The 19-year-old has been a buzz saw at Roland-Garros, though. She has yet to drop a set and lost six combined games to No. 15 Marketa Vondrousova and No. 1 Simona Halep.
Swiatek had 23 winners to six for Podoroska, per the French Open’s official website. She also won 67 percent of her second-service points.
This isn’t an example of a player merely hitting a hot streak. Swiatek reached the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she lost a three-setter to Anett Kontaveit. Her U.S. Open run ended in the third round at the hands of eventual runner-up Victoria Azarenka.
If it isn’t already, the 2020 French Open could be a significant turning point in Swiatek’s career since she already looked like a star in the making. Sooner or later the breakthrough is coming.
Kenin’s road to the final has been a little bumpier. Four of her six matches have gone to three sets. Twice she dropped the opening frame before fighting back in the second.
Given the stakes and the quality of her opponent, Kenin’s victory over Kvitova was her best performance of the tournament. Kvitova eclipsed Kenin in winners, 28 to 23, but had 11 more unforced errors. The 21-year-old American showed a level of composure belying her age.
Kenin is angling for her second Grand Slam triumph this season. She made a statement early in 2020 by upsetting Ash Barty and then taking down Garbine Muguruza in the final of the Australian Open. Perhaps that experience will give her an edge Saturday.
Swiatek hasn’t been overawed yet, however, so it seems unlikely nerves will get the better of her on this occasion.
Given where they are in their careers, this probably won’t be the last time Kenin and Swiatek cross paths with a Grand Slam title on the line.