A former Wimbledon junior champion Iga Swiatek has been the star of Roland Garros so far. The Polish teenager reached the fourth round on her debut in Paris a year ago, returning stronger in the previous two weeks to advance into the first Major final at 19.
Producing her A-game, Iga has played on a high level in the opening six matches, spending seven hours on the court and toppling all the opponents in straight sets to set the title clash against Sofia Kenin on Saturday. In the second round, Iga needed only 63 minutes to dismiss the last year's finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-2, overpowering the Czech and ousting the Canadian Eugenie Bouchard to set the fourth-round clash with the top seed Simona Halep.
Firing 30 winners and 20 unforced errors, Swiatek blew Halep away from the court 6-1, 6-2 in swift 68 minutes, advancing into the quarter-final and becoming one of the favorites. Keeping her focus after such a massive victory, Iga defeated Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 to become the first Polish player in the last four in Paris since 1939!
The Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska stood no chances in the battle for the final, with Swiatek forging a commanding 6-2, 6-1 triumph in 70 minutes to reach the title match like only a few players before her. To make things even better, Iga is through to the semis in the doubles draw with Nicole Melichar, and is yet to lose a set in Paris in ten encounters!
Praising the youngster, Mats Wilander said she has a well-rounded and complete game, taking the ball early with no errors from the baseline, in Novak Djokovic's style.
Iga Swiatek is through to the semi-final at Roland Garros, dropping 23 only games.
"I genuinely believe that Iga Swiatek can be the one.
I haven't seen one player who is complete technically with all the shots when constructing points and going forwards, taking the ball early. The weakness for most women is the second serve, and she will punish that on any surface.
Her basic game reminds me of Novak Djokovic, who plays close to the baseline. If you don't hit the ball well, he'll take the short ball and hurt you. She is very natural, not risky either because she hits the ball with so much spin and margin.
Even though she hits the ball with so much power, she also hits with margin. Iga doesn't have any weakness at all, not one. She has an incredible variety in her game, she doesn't volley very well yet, especially on the backhand side, but it doesn't matter as she is still keen to come forward.
Now it's just about improving the technique, especially the backhand volley, but she moves well, hits hard and with spin. Her opponents can make the ball skid through the court on faster courts, and she might not get underneath the ball to spin the ball back. But that's the only thing. I think she will be a multiple Major champion," Mats Wilander said.