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2020 French Open: Women's final preview

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Roar Guru
8th October, 2020
1

And then there were two.

After a French Open women’s tournament that saw several major upsets, only two players are left to fight it out for the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.

American fourth seed and reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin will start favourite to land her second Major title this year when she comes up against Polish teen sensation Iga Swiatek in the women’s final of the French Open.

The 21-year-old arrived at Roland Garros in modest form, having reached only the fourth round of the US Open where she was beaten by Elise Mertens, while she also suffered the humiliation of a double-bagel loss at the hands of Victoria Azarenka in Rome.

But Kenin has lifted where and when it has mattered, bringing her A-game to Paris to reach the final despite only winning two matches in straight sets.

One of those was in the semi-final against seventh seed Petra Kvitova – the only seed she’s had to face all tournament.

Swiatek, on the other hand, has become the major surprise packet of the French Open, winning all of her six lead-up matches in straight sets, including defeating last year’s finalist Marketa Vondrousova, former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard and top seed Simona Halep.

Her victory over Halep in the fourth round reversed a lopsided defeat against the Romanian from the fourth round last year, and proved that she has come a very long way in such a short space of time.

(Imaginechina via AP Images)

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The 19-year-old subsequently defeated two qualifiers – Martina Trevisan in the quarter-finals, and then Nadia Podoroska in the semis – to reach her first Major final.

She is the first woman from her country to get this far at a Major since Agnieszka Radwanska reached the 2012 Wimbledon final, and now she can achieve what her now-retired compatriot couldn’t and land her first Major title before turning 20 next May.

Further, should she upset Sofia Kenin in the final, her first career title would be a Major title, marking the first time this has happened since Jelena Ostapenko claimed the 2017 French Open over three years ago.

However, it is Kenin who is the more seasoned player and with her big-game experience will start the favourite to claim the French Open title this Sunday morning (AEDT). Now it’s time to crunch the all-important numbers below.

Iga Swiatek vs [4] Sofia Kenin

Saturday, October 10, 3:00pm (Sunday, October 11, 12:00 am AEDT)

Court: Philippe Chatrier

Iga Swiatek’s road to the final
Round 1: defeated [15] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: defeated Hsieh Su-wei (TPE) 6-1, 6-4
Round 3: defeated Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 6-3, 6-2
Round 4: defeated [1] Simona Halep (ROU) 6-1, 6-2
Quarter-final: defeated Martina Trevisan (ITA) 6-3, 6-1
Semi-final: defeated Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 6-2, 6-1

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Sofia Kenin’s road to the final
Round 1: defeated Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Round 2: defeated Ana Bogdan (ROU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
Round 3: defeated Irina Bara (ROU) 6-2, 6-0
Round 4: defeated Fiona Ferro (FRA) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
Quarter-final: defeated Danielle Collins (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-0
Semi-final: defeated [7] Petra Kvitova (CZE) 6-4, 7-5

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The stats that matter
This is Iga Swiatek’s first Grand Slam final, and Sofia Kenin’s second.

This is the youngest Grand Slam women’s final since the 2008 Australian Open (in which 20-year-old Maria Sharapova defeated a 20-year-old Ana Ivanovic in the final).

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Swiatek is the first Polish woman to reach a Major final since Agnieszka Radwanska reached this stage at Wimbledon in 2012. She is also the first Pole in the Open Era (1968-present) to reach the French Open final, though Jadwiga Jedrzejowska did reach the final in 1939.

Swiatek is the first player, male or female, born this century, and by extension millennium, to reach a Major final.

Kenin is aiming to become:

The first American woman, other than Serena Williams, to win the French Open since Jennifer Capriati in 2001.

The first woman since Angelique Kerber in 2016 to win multiple Major titles in one calendar year.

The first woman since Serena Williams to win both the Australian and French Open titles in the same year.

The first American woman other than Williams to win multiple Grand Slam titles since Venus Williams.

Prediction
Sofia Kenin in straight sets.

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