No.4 seed Sofia Kenin has reached her first-ever final at the French Open. The American ousted Petra Kvitova in straight sets in the semifinals and is a win away from lifting her second Grand Slam title. Kenin improved her win-loss record at Grand Slams to 16-1 this season.
The 21-year-old broke Kvitova’s serve twice in the opening set to race to a 4-1 lead. The two-time Wimbledon champion, Kvitova, broke back to close the gap at 3-4 but Kenin held her remaining service games to clinch the first set 6-4.
In the second set, Kenin broke Kvitova’s early on to get a 4-2 lead. Despite having the chance to serve out the match at 5-4, Kenin committed a few unforced errors and got broken by Kvitova, who leveled the second set 5-5. The reigning Australian Open champion broke back immediately and won the match in one hour 45 minutes.
During the post-match interview, Kenin appreciated her opponent’s game and admitted that she had to play at her best to defeat Kvitova. She won 70% of the points on her first serve and converted four out of the 5 break point opportunities.
“She’s such a tough player, she’s got a great aggressive game and such a big serve. I knew I had to bring my ‘A’ game in order to win. I’m super proud of myself, it was a great match, and I’m super happy,” said Kenin.
The American talked about the excitement of reaching the final and sounded confident about her chances after the gruesome past two weeks.
“I’ve had tough matches these past two weeks and I’m so excited to be in the final. It’s incredible. I’m going to enjoy this moment today and get ready for the final tomorrow.” remarked Kenin.
Sofia Kenin faces a tough challenge in the final
Meanwhile, Polish teenager Iga Swiatek defeated Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-1 in the first semifinal. Swiatek created history by becoming the youngest player to reach the French Open women’s final in 19 years.
Kenin will square off against Swiatek in the final of Roland Garros and they will play against each other for the first time on the women’s tour. The duo has met only once in the third round of the 2016 French Open Juniors. Swiatek won that encounter without dropping a set.
“We played in juniors in the French Open. It was a close one. I’m going to prepare for the final and I’m going to do my best,” remarked Kenin during the on-court interview.