Sofia Kenin and Petra Kvitova kept some form in the bottom half of the women’s draw. The two former Grand Slam winners will meet Thursday for a spot in their first French Open final.
Kvitova returned to a second Roland Garros semifinal after ousting German 32-year-old Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3.
Kvitova was never troubled in the match and hasn’t really be troubled in the event having not dropped a set (though Leylah Fernandez led 5-1 over the Czech in the first set).
“I’m proud of everything I did today,” Kvitova said. “Since I woke up, I felt pretty nervous. Going into the match, I knew it would be a big fight for every point.
“She’s a tricky opponent, she has lots of variety in her game. Of course, playing the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, nothing is easy with nerves.
“I’m happy with my side, with the mental side, and how I handled the pressure out there.
“Of course, I’m happy with my game as well. I served very well in the first set. Then it was a little bit about a few points. When I lost serve I broke her back, I was there, still staying positive and that was a big advantage for me today.”
The 30-year-old hit six aces along with 22 winners in the match en route to her 7th Grand Slam semifina and second in Paris after 2012.
“I think I’m still same clay player as I was before, but I just think that I find those conditions here and I’m still mentally tough,” the left said. “I mean, I played indoor, outdoor, sun, wind, whatever, rain, whatever happens.
“I think eight years ago I think it was everything, you know, kind of same, same weather,” she added.
“So I think that’s just the difference. I’m really happy that after even eight years I can be in the semifinal again of a Grand Slam after last year final of Australia.
“I’m really glad in the last couple of years I improved my results in the Grand Slams, too. So definitely I’m proud of this, and I hope this journey, it’s not ending yet.”
For a spot in her fourth Slam final, she’ll meet reigning Australian Open champion Kenin who earned her first career win over countrywoman Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
Kenin, who is now 15-1 on the year in Slams, shrugged off a tough second set loss and overwhelmed the unseeded Collins.
“I’m super happy. I know she plays really aggressive and I knew I needed to play aggressive myself, have a high first-serve percentage and I think I did that,” said Kenin.
“The difference is definitely mental. I like winning in three sets! I know it’s going to be tough but I got the win and I’m proud of myself.”
Both players were in their first French Open quarterfinal. Once going down a break in the third, Collins left the court for what appeared to be an abdominal issue.
“She played well,” Collins said. “Obviously there is a physical ailment, but I don’t want that to take away from the great tennis that she was playing.”
Kvitova leads Kenin 2-0 and of course the winner will face an unseeded, first-time Slam finalist for the title on Saturday.
The first match tomorrow features longshots Iga Swiatek, ranked #54, and the 131st-ranked Nadia Podoroska who is the first qualifier to make the semifinals at the French.
Swiatek is just the second Polish woman ever to reach the semifinals in Paris after runner-up Jadwiga Jedrzejowska in 1939. While Podoroska is bidding to become the first Argentinian woman to appear in final at Roland Garros.
“Fortunately, I’m completely fresh,” Podoroska said Tuesday. “I don’t have any pain or any problem in my body. It’s going to be a very tough match, for sure. But I’m happy that I got to the semifinals. I will be ready for that match obviously.”
THURSDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
** Court Philippe CHATRIER ** Début à 15h00
Iga SWIATEK (POL) contre Nadia PODOROSKA (ARG)
Sofia KENIN (USA) contre Petra KVITOVA (CZE)
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