Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, won a difficult semi-final at the Roland Garros against Petra Kvitova, returning to the top four in Paris eight years after the last time. The Russian-born tennis player showed remarkable cynicism in relation to age, converting four of the five break points and saving 10/12 despite the Czech's aggression.
For the fourth seed, Iga Swiatek, a 19-year-old Polish player who has reached her first career Grand Slam final, leaving only 23 games on the road remains to be overcome.
Kenin: "I'll have an advantage over Swiatek"
"I'm really happy with how I'm playing and how things are going in general.
It is not easy to reach a Grand Slam final, let alone two in the same year. I will try to take advantage of my experience in the final with Iga. I know well the emotions you feel when you reach the final in a Grand Slam for the first time.
I hope he gets a little nervous, but I know what to expect, so I hope to adopt my tactical plan well," said Kenin. “Iga is expressing great tennis. Petra hadn't lost sets before today either. This doesn't mean anything, but I have to admit he is playing really well.
I'm sure she is very confident and excited about the final. I hope my experience in Melbourne will help me for the final on Saturday," she said. The triumph at the Australian Open has turned Sofia's life upside down.
“I feel like after that tournament people started getting to know me. I felt some pressure from abroad. Maintaining this level and playing great tennis is now very special. I hope all my fans in America are supporting me with all their might.
It is not easy to earn respect and it is very easy to lose it. As I said, people now respect me," she also added. Kenin recounted her feelings after the COVID hiatus: "After winning a Grand Slam, it is normal to expect changes.
With the whole situation linked to the pandemic, tennis has stalled. Everything has been put on hold. As I said in previous press conferences, I have not felt great motivation during the suspension. It took me some time to regain the desire.
In Australia I was playing very well, now I feel that my level is even higher. I can't complain about how things are going for me. I'm really grateful for everything." Perhaps Kenin has a small advantage, deriving from her previous experience in managing situations in a Grand Slam.
However, it will be a balanced and hopefully spectacular match. Despite her young age, Swiatek will have her chance. In the tournament she showed physical, technical and tactical qualities worthy of the most experienced athletes. But a Grand Slam final is another matter