• Sofia Kenin v Iga Swiatek |First Meeting
PARIS, FRANCE – Not many would have come up with this combination for the final, but it sets up an intriguing clash between No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin and Iga Swiatek.

 

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Sofia Kenin could book-end her 2020 season with two Slam titles, while Iga Swiatek bids for her first.

 

[4] Sofia Kenin’s Path to the Final

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  • R1: Ludmilla Samsonova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
  • R2: Ana Bogdan 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
  • R3: Irina Maria Bara [Q] 6-2 6-0
  • R4: Fiona Ferro 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
  • QF: Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-0
  • SF: Petra Kvitova [7] 6-4, 7-5

Since claiming the first Slam of the year at Australia, lockdown dented what might have been for Kenin. She went into lockdown with a second title of the year, in Lyon, and as lockdown eased, she hit the World Team Tennis circuit.

But since the restart, it has been a little bit feast or famine. First round exit in Cincinnati, but reached the fourth round at the US Open. She was double-bagelled by Victoria Azarenka in Rome and now here she is on the brink of becoming a two-time Slam champion in the same year.

She has not had it all her own way, she has only had two straight sets win and twice she has had to come from behind to advance through the rounds.

 

Iga Swiatek’s Path to the Final

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  • R1: Marketa Vondrousova [15] 6-1, 6-2
  • R2: Hsieh Su-Wei 6-1, 6-4
  • R3: Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-2
  • R4: Simona Halep [1] 6-1, 6-2
  • QF: Martina Trevisan [Q] 6-3, 6-1
  • SF: Nadia Podoroska [Q] 6-2, 6-1

It certainly has been a less consistent year for Swiatek, but her time in lockdown-easing were all on the clay and she only picked up a couple of wins in all her time in New York, going out in the Western & Southern Open first round, and met her end at the US Open to eventual finalist Azarenka.

Even her first round exit in Rome did not signify what was to come. But the 19-year-old, who works with a sports psychologist, listens to old rock bands, and has taken then battle to plenty of very handy players, is now on the brink of Slam greatness.

 

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The Final | Preview & Prediction

While few would have predicted this combination for the final, we have an intriguing final in store. Kenin showed a lot of the grit and determination that took her to a maiden slam at the start of the year to battle through some tough matches.

By contrast, Swiatek has been rock solid throughout, and of course her demolition of former champion and No. 1 seed Halep was a stand-out moment in her path to the final.

Of course, Kenin has been here before, and she beat a two-time Slam champion to get it, so she will know all the nerves and the adrenalin whereas many will remember how bunny-in-the-headlights another teenager was last year, as Marketa Vondrousova fell apart in the final.

Swiatek has not only admitted she is working with a sports psychologist, and more interestingly she feels it is a vital part of the modern game.

Kenin’s feistiness versus no end of fist-pumping from Swiatek will make for an intriguing battle. Swiatek plays an all-court game and expect her to come to the net – her run in the doubles will have helped her no end.

Expect Kenin to try a lot of first strike tennis, and for her to hand Swiatek the first drop of a set.

Prediction: Swiatek in three sets.

 

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