Petra Kvitova has rolled back the years in Paris this month, reaching the final four of the French Open for the first time since 2012.
The number seven seed proved too much for Germany’s Laura Siegemund on Wednesday, and she will now do battle with American Sofia Kenin for a spot in Saturday’s final.
The winner of that encounter will face either Iga Swiatek or Nadia Podoroska, the two big surprise packages at the clay-court event.
Kenin Out to Ruin Kvitova Fairytale
Kvitova is bidding for a first Grand Slam title since she returned from a career-threatening knife attack in 2016.
The two-time Wimbledon champion last claimed major honours in 2014 at SW19 on a surface she is far more accustom to, the 30-year-old having only previously been beyond the fourth round of the French Open once.
The Czech ace has yet to drop a set this year at Roland Garros, and her 6-3 6-3 success against Siegemund means she is now
8/5 to win the tournament.
Kenin, the fourth seed this year, beat fellow American Danielle Collins on Wednesday, digging deep to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
The 21-year-old, who claimed her maiden major title at the Australian Open earlier this year, is no stranger to marathon contest on the clay though with four of her five matches this fortnight having gone to a final set.
In contrast, Kvitova hasn’t gone the distance yet but may need to go into a third set for the first time against Kenin.
Kvitova’s experience should see her through the contest though and she is
12/5 to win 2-1.
Swiatek v Podoroska: Battle of the Underdogs
Thursday’s first semi-final sees Poland’s Swiatek take on Argentina’s Podoroska, two players that have burst onto the scene in Paris.
Swiatek is starting to deliver on the potential she showed when winning the 2018 French Open junior doubles champion and she is the first Polish woman to reach the final four in Paris in the Open Era having been No.1 seed Simona Halep in the last round.
She is also in the doubles semis alongside Nicole Melichar and is on course for a career-defining weekend in the French capital having been made the
5/4 favourite for women’s singles glory.
Standing in the teenager’s path is qualifier Podoroska, who has enjoyed a remarkable run to the last four.
The Argentinean started the year 255th in the world rankings, but she has won 43 matches so far this season to make a name for herself.
She is the first woman from Argentina to reach the last four at a major since Paula Suarez in 2004 and has every chance of reaching the final.
Nerves are expected from both, but Podoroska has less experience at the highest level. She’s appearing in her first Grand Slam event in four years and produced her best performance to date when eliminating Elina Svitolina in the last round.
She has shown tremendous courage and fight so far, and has what it takes to take the match the distance. However, Swiatek’s class should eventually prevail and she is
47/20 to win 2-1.
*All odds correct at time of writing.