Two of the young stars of women’s tennis will meet in Saturday’s French Open final, with Iga Swiatek and Sofia Kenin having a combined age of just 40.
Poland’s Swiatek is the
4/7 favourite to lift the title and has been the star of the tournament to date, cruising into her first Grand Slam final – not dropping a set en route to the clay-court showpiece.
Swiatek the Star in Paris so Far
The 19-year-old really made people sit up and take noticed when she emphatically beat top seed Simona Halep in round four, 6-1 6-2. Swiatek then followed that up by disposing of Italy’s Martina Trevisan 6-3 6-1, before a 6-2 6-1 success over Nadia Podoroska of Argentina in the last four.
The world number 54 has made some significant progress in 2020, especially in this year’s major tournaments. Swiatek –
13/10 to win straight sets – reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open, before reaching the third round of the US Open last month.
She certainly looks at home on clay and her only other WTA Final also came on that surface, when losing to Polona Hercog at the Ladies Open Lugano in April 2019.
Although she has never faced Kenin on the WTA Tour or played in a previous Grand Slam final, Swiatek (
20/33 to win the first set) is also likely to take confidence from her ITF Circuit, where she won all seven finals she reached.
Pole Surprised by Swift Progress
When asked about her progress in the last couple of weeks, Swiatek admitted: “I’m surprised, but I always knew if I was going to reach a Grand Slam final it would be the French Open.”
The first Polish French Open finalist since 1939, added: “It’s going to be different in a final because I’m going to play a much more experienced player. I will need to be on a different level, the higher level, even though I’m winning easily right now.”
Kenin Builds on Australian Open Form
American Kenin (
6/4) started the year with her first-ever Grand Final title, with victory in the Australian Open and has since risen to number six in the world rankings.
The 21-year-old built on her success in Melbourne when also claiming the title at the Open 6eme Sens event in Lyon in March, before reaching the last 16 at Flushing Meadows.
The Moscow-born Kenin has had a less straightforward route, having played four three-set matches to get to Saturday’s final. Another three set win for Kenin can be backed at
Impressive Victory Over Kvitova
The fourth seed did clinch a straight-sets win (6-4 7-5) though over Petra Kvitova in the semi-final and that should have further boosted her confidence.
Speaking after her victory in the semis, Kenin said: “I feel like I’m playing some of my best tennis on clay. I’m sliding a lot, moving a lot. I know how to adjust to the surface, so I’m loving the clay.”
One other factor in Swiatek’s favour is a previous meeting at junior level four years ago, when the Polish star came out on top.
*All odds correct at time of writing