With the 2020 French Open steamrolling towards its championship showcase events this coming weekend, it’s time to find out which ladies are in action in Thursday’s pair of semifinal matches and which two are offering the best value against their online tennis betting odds.
In the first semifinal matchup, unseeded, 54th ranked Polish teenager Iga Swiatek will look to get past unseeded qualifier Nadia Podoroska while two of the game’s top stars will look to advance to the finals when No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin takes on seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova.
Now, let’s find out what the likely outcome is in both matches.
Iga Świątek vs Nadia Podoroska at 9:00 AM ET
Nadia Podoroska is the first qualifier to reach the women’s semifinals at Roland Garros in the Open era. Ater winning her opener in straight sets, the 23-year-old Argentina native got past No. 23 seed Yulia Putintseva in three sets in the second round before winning her third round match in straight sets. Podoroska needed three sets to advance out of the fourth round before stunning No. 3 seed Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday.
Podoroska had never had won a main draw Grand Slam match before last week and is just the third female qualifier to reach the semifinals at any major tournament in the Open era.
Ironically, Podoroska, who hails from the same city as superstar soccer player Lionel Messi, said she considered quitting tennis altogether a couple of years ago.
She was off the tour for eight months and split with a coach she’d been working with for a decade.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Podoroska said.
Now, Podoroska will face Polish teenager Iga Swiatek who has made her own fantastic run to the semis. Swiatek won her opener over No. 15 seed Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-2 before taking out unseeded veteran Hsieh Su-wei in straight sets in the second round. The 19-year-old, who reached the finals at the junior Australia Open in 2017, then got past Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-3 in the third round before stunning world No. 2 and top-seeded Simona Halep via a stunning 6-1, 6-2 score in the quarterfinals on Sunday. Swiatek has dropped no sets while losing just 20 total games en route to the semis.
While these two have never met before, Iga Swiatek has gone 7-3 over her last 10 matches while Podoroska has won each of her last 10 matches. Still, for me, Iga Swiatek has had the far more impressive run to the quarterfinals in beating the top-seeded Halep while not dropping a single set thus far. Nadia Podoroska has needed three sets to win two of her matches and I just don’t see her getting past a locked-in Swiatek in this affair, though I do see this one going the distance.
Pick: Iga Swiatek in 3 Sets
Sofia Kenin vs Petra Kvitova at 11:00 AM ET
World No. 4 and reigning Australian Open champ, Sofia Kenin needed three sets to win both of her first two French Open matches before dispatching Irina Bara via a quick 6-2, 6-0 demolition in the third round. Kenin then needed three more sets to get past unseeded Fiona Ferro in the fourth round before needing three more sets in order to dispatch American Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 to reach the semifinal round.
“I like winning in three sets,” said the fourth-seeded Kenin.. “I’m really proud of myself.”
Seventh-seeded, world No. 11 Petra Kvitova dispatched Oceane Dodin 6-3 7-5 in her opener before getting past Italian Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 6-3 in the second round. Kvitova, a two-time slam winner at Wimbledon (2011, 2014) then bounced Leylah Fernandez 7-5, 6-3 in the third round before taking out Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4 in the fourth round. The 30-year-old Kvitova reached the semis for the first time at Roland Garros since 2012 by subduing Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3 in their quarterfinal clash on Wednesday.
For Kvitova, her return to the semifinals after being stabbed by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic in December 2016, has been nothing short of miraculous.
“It’s another miracle,” Kvitova said. “Right now, it’s my lucky place,” she added.
While Sofia Kenin is clearly talented and will almost assuredly win multiple grand slam titles in her career, I don’t think the 21-year-old is getting past what I believe is a superior clay court player in the veteran Petra Kvitova.
These two have met twice before with Kvitova recording a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win on the hard courts at the 2018 Miami Masters before backing that up with a 6-1, 6-4 smackdown in the 2019 Madrid Masters on clay.
Yes, Kenin is the younger of the two, but she’s also played more sets in this tournament and is facing a player that has been here before. This one should be a thriller, but I’m going with Kvitova in three sets!
Pick: Petra Kvitova in 3 Sets