??? Roland Garros, F preview + prediction:
?? Iga Swiatek vs. ?? (4) Sofa Kenin
After a whacky couple of weeks in Paris we are left with a blockbuster championship match at Roland Garros when Iga Swiatek comes up against Sofia Kenin. Swiatek has stormed into her first major final without dropping a set, the Pole’s dominance throughout the last fortnight means she will enter this final as the favourite. Kenin has been here before, the reigning Australian Open champion has overcome some stern tests in Paris and has her eyes set on a second major title in 2020. This will be the first career meeting between the pair, who will prevail?
Iga Swiatek’s pathway to the final:
R1: d. (15) Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-2
R2: d. Su-Wei Hsieh 6-1 6-4
R3: d. Eugenie Bouchard 6-3 6-2
R4: d (1) Simona Halep 6-1 6-2
QF: d. (Q) Martina Trevisan 6-3 6-1
SF: d. (Q) Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-1
Sofia Kenin’s pathway to the final:
R1: d. Ludmilla Samsonova 6-4 3-6 6-3
R2: d. Ana Bogdan 3-6 6-3 6-2
R3: d. (Q) Irina Bara 6-2 6-0
R4: d. Fiona Ferro 2-6 6-2 6-1
QF: d. Danielle Collins 6-4 4-6 6-0
SF: d. (7) Petra Kvitova 6-4 7-5
Iga Swiatek has been dominant, the 19-year-old hasn’t dropped more than 4 games in a single set on route to the final. The Pole has conceded an average of just under 2 games per set all tournament. It should be noted that the last 8 women who reached a major final having not dropped more than 4 games in a set went on to lose in the final, a record that dates back to 1978. It should also be noted that Swiatek enters her first Grand Slam final on the back of facing 2 qualifiers in a row, that’s surely not ideal preparation for a maiden Grand Slam final, especially considering neither of those opponents tested Swiatek in the slightest.
Sofia Kenin is the only woman to reach 2 major finals in 2020, the American hasn’t been as dominant as Swiatek on route to the final in Paris, but she has overcome some strong opponents and tough situations. Most notably Kenin was able to overcome a red-hot Fiona Ferro in the fourth round, from a set down, in front of a vocal French crowd. Kenin booked her spot in the final with a tough straight set win over Petra Kvitova, a significant win given how well the American played in the tight moments against a proven champion.
I’m going to side with Sofia Kenin. History is against Swiatek, with good reason. Swiatek simply hasn’t been tested all tournament, there have been no tight moments for the Pole. In her first major final, against a major champion, this will be tight, there will be pressure, totally unpredicted territory for the teenager. Can she del with the pressure? We don’t know. Kenin is mentally tough, she has proven that all year, a 16-1 record at Grand Slam events in 2020, including a huge with over the top seeded Ash Barty in Melbourne and a win from a set down in the Australian Open final against Garbine Muguruza. Kenin can work her way through tough situations, as she has in Paris where she has come through 4 three set matches, twice from a set down. Kenin has the complete game: power, versatility, great movement, and most importantly a champions mentality, expect the American to be too strong here.
Prediction: Sofia Kenin to defeat Iga Swiatek in 2 sets