Fixture: Iga Swiatek vs Nadia Podoroska
Date: 8 October 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: 3 pm CEST, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports Select / Disney+ Hotstar VIP | Europe - Eurosport
Iga Swiatek vs Nadia Podoroska preview
If there were any doubts about Iga Swiatek's ability to back up her big win over Simona Halep, the 19-year-old dismissed them in style with a straight-sets win over Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan on Tuesday.
The Pole is now into the semifinals of a Major for the first time in her career, having dropped just 20 games in her first five matches. She is also through to the quarterfinals of the women's doubles draw with American partner Nicole Melichar, which she will play on Wednesday.
Although she is now listed as the favorite to win the title by some bookmakers, Swiatek is trying not to put too much pressure on herself.
“At the beginning I felt little bit more pressure because I feel like after beating Simona, I'm not underdog any more,” she told reporters. “I just kept my mindset from the previous matches. I was just focusing on tennis, not that I'm playing quarterfinal, not that I'm playing a girl with lower ranking."
While Swiatek has been seen as a promising youngster for a while now, her opponent in Thursday's semifinals has been a big surprise in this tournament. Argentina's Nadia Podoroska is ranked No. 131 in the world, and had a career record of 0-1 in the main draws of Grand Slams before Roland Garros 2020.
After coming through the qualifiers, the 23-year-old scored some quality wins in her initial rounds. That included a victory over the No. 23 seed Yulia Putintseva and as well as over Anna Karolína Schmiedlova, who had earlier knocked out Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka in the tournament.
But Podoroska's quarterfinal beat-down of Elina Svitolina was the first top 10 win of her career, and she is now set to play the biggest match of her life.
Iga Swiatek vs Nadia Podoroska head-to-head
This will be the first meeting between the two players and their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Iga Swiatek vs Nadia Podoroska prediction
Both players have been creating history this week. Iga Swiatek is the first Polish woman to reach the French Open semifinals since Jadwiga Jedrzejowska was runner-up in 1939, while Nadia Podoroska is the first ever female qualifier to reach the French Open semifinals (the last female qualifier to achieve the same feat at a Major was American Alexandra Stevenson at the 1999 Wimbledon Championships).
Both players are also projected to reach new career highs in the rankings. Swiatek is projected to move into the top 35 while Podoroska will get into the top 50, based on the points earned to reach the semifinals.
Both Iga Swiatek and Nadia Podoroska use their court craft to build points, and are not afraid to attack the net when given the opportunity. Swiatek has slightly more power on her first serve and groundstrokes, but the Argentine is riding high on confidence as well - she won an ITF event just prior to the French Open and has now won 13 matches in a row.
If Swiatek can get a high percentage of first serves and dominate the points with her forehand, she should be able to win this match.
Prediction: Iga Swiatek to win in straight sets.