Iga Swiatek Blazes Into First Grand Slam Final - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Blazes Into First Grand Slam Final

Iga Swiatek produced an imperious display to thrash Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-1 and advance to her first Grand Slam final at the 2020 French Open.

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Iga Swiatek (@AustralianOpen on Twitter)

Iga Swiatek produced an imperious display to thrash Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-1 and advance to her first Grand Slam final at the 2020 French Open.

The Pole, 19, seems destined to achieve great things in the sport. She has already won junior Wimbledon singles, junior French Open doubles, Youth Olympic gold and seven ITF singles titles. And she is making the step up to the highest level look easy.

“I’m kind of surprised,” Swiatek said in her on-court interview. “I would never have thought before the tournament that I would play so well here. But, on the other hand, I always knew that if I was going to be in the final of Grand Slam, it would be the French Open, so I’m really happy. It’s like a dream come true.”

The Pole continued, “I wanted to play this match as if it was a first round. I didn’t to think that I was in a semi-final because it would stress me. So I just kept being aggressive like in my previous matches. And I feel really lucky that I’m feeling good and nothing hurts.”

Swiatek dominates

Iga Swiatek (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Swiatek lost the first two points of the match. But after that it was one-way traffic. She fought back to hold. Then she unleashed two superb winners to break for 2-0.

Podoroska got herself on the scoreboard with a battling hold in game four. But she made an unforced error when she had break point in the next game and the Pole made it 4-1.

Swiatek hit two excellent winners during a flawless hold that put her 5-2 up. Then she played aggressively and forced the Argentine into a series of errors to earn her first set point. Then Podoroska made another error.

The Pole made a brilliant start to the second set. She hit nine stunning winners as she raced into a 4-0 lead in just 11 minutes.

With the match slipping away, Podoroska chased down every ball in the next game and deservedly got one of the breaks back.

However, that proved to be the Argentine’s last resistance. Swiatek returned in typically aggressive fashion to break for the fifth time in the match. Then she crunched a couple more winners during a comfortable hold to seal a momentous victory.

Kvitova or Kenin awaits

In order to find out her opponent in the final, Swiatek must now wait to see what happens in the second semi-final between Petra Kvitova and Sofia Kenin.

“Petra has been a superstar for many years,” the Pole said. “So she’s really experienced, and that would be a tough match for sure. And Sofia has been on fire this year. But I don’t want to think about that right now. I’m really happy I’m in the final and I don’t care what happens.”

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities

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Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.

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(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.

IGA WAS JUST TOO GOOD

Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.

WINNING 10 CONSECUTIVE GAMES

The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.

SWIATEK OWNS THE RED CLAY

No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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