Two women who entered the tournament as longshots will face off in the French Open final on Saturday, as Iga Swiatek takes on Sofia Kenin at Roland Garros.
Swiatek comes into the match as a -177 favorite over Kenin (+145), according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Swiatek Dominant at French Open
If you haven’t been paying attention to the French Open, you may well be wondering who Swiatek is. The 19-year-old from Poland came into the tournament ranked 54th in the world, and had never before reached the quarterfinals of any major.
That’s not to say her run came out of nowhere, as she did make it to the fourth round in her French Open debut last year. Still, Swiatek never expected to reach a Grand Slam final this early in her career.
“I feel like I’m ready. I also feel like I don’t have to win. I’m pretty okay with both scenarios,” Swiatek told reporters. “I think if I’m going to win, it’s going to be crazy and super overwhelming for me. But even though there’s, like, chaos around me, when I’m coming on court, I feel like my mind is clear.”
Swiatek eased into the final with a 6-2, 6-1 semifinal victory over qualifier Nadia Podoroska. She has yet to lose a set at this year’s French Open, losing just 23 games over her first six matches.
At first glance, Kenin seems like a more likely finalist. She’s put together an excellent 2020, winning the Australian Open to pick up her first Grand Slam title.
Kenin Rebounds After Disaster in Rome
Expectations were low for Kenin heading into the French Open. She had never reached the quarterfinals in any professional clay court tournament before this one. When she played in Rome to prepare for Roland Garros, she faced Victoria Azarenka in her first match. The result? The first 6-0, 6-0 loss of Kenin’s tennis career, at any level.
But Kenin has performed brilliantly at the French Open, culminating in a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Petra Kvitova in their Thursday semifinal.
“It took some time for me to get my motivation back,” Kenin said after the match. “I finally got it. I feel like I’m playing the best tennis right now, as well. I was playing really well in Australia. Now I feel like I’m playing as good or even better.”
While Swiatek and Kenin have never met on tour, they do have some history against each other at Roland Garros. They faced off in the third round of the junior tournament during the French Open in 2016, with Swiatek coming out on top.
“I remember I lost,” Kenin said, via ESPN. “I don’t remember how I played, but definitely I can say I was not as comfortable on clay as I am now, as I started to feel last year.”