PARIS, October 6
Argentine Nadia Podoroska became the first qualifier to reach the French Open semifinals in the women’s singles draw when she downed Ukrainian third seed Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-4 today.
The world No. 131, on her second appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam, emulates Belgium’s Filip Dewulf, the only qualifier in either of the singles draws since tennis turned professional in 1968 to make it to the last-four at Roland Garros, in 1997.
“It’s a little bit difficult for me to speak after the match, thank you everybody for your support, I’m very very happy,” Podoroska said on court Philippe Chatrier. “We did a very good job with my coaches during quarantine. That’s why I’m here today.”
Svitolina, one of the pre-tournament favourites after winning the Strasbourg International last month, was on the back-foot throughout, failing at the last-eight stage for the third time at the claycourt Grand Slam.
Podoroska next faces either Polish teenager Iga Swiatek or another qualifier, Italian Martina Trevisan.
Should Trevisan prevail in her quarterfinal, it would ensure a qualifier plays in the final of a Grand Slam for the first time in the Open era.
Since 1968, only Alexandra Stevenson at Wimbledon in 1999 and Christine Dorey at the 1978 Australian Open had made it to the semifinals at a Major prior to Podoroska. Both of them failed to go one step further.
Coming into Tuesday’s match, the 23-year-old Podoroska had won seven matches in a row at Roland Garros, and she kept that momentum going against Svitolina.
Collins ends Jabeur’s historic run
Unseeded Danielle Collins battled past Tunisian Ons Jabeur 6-4 4-6 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in her career. “I lost my way there a little bit, lost some of the shots I’d been hitting earlier and I needed to try and stay positive,” world No. 57 Collins said.
She takes on Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin next, after the fourth-seeded American beat Frenchwoman Fiona Ferro 2-6 6-2 6-1 in their last-16 encounter yesterday.
Jabeur had become the first Arab woman to reach the Roland Garros last-16 by beating eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka. — Reuters