Trivia: Nadia Podoroska’s just the third female qualifier to reach a major semifinal in the Open Era. The first was Christine Dorey at the 1978 Australian Open. Who was the other one?
Welcome to Women’s Semifinals Day! First up is the (surprise) semifinal between No. 54 Iga Swiatek and No. 131 Nadia Podoroska, followed by No. 6 Sofia Kenin and No. 11 Petra Kvitova in a battle of major champions.
As unlikely as the Swiatek-Podoroska semifinal seems, they are the two women who beat the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds. The first semifinal was supposed to be Simona Halep against Elina Svitolina, but Swiatek crushed Halep in the fourth round, 6-1, 6-2, and Podoroska beat Svitolina in the quarters, 6-2, 6-4.
Podoroska’s made more money at this event than she did in her entire career before this. She entered Roland Garros with career earnings of $301,547—she’ll earn more than $500,000 here.
Swiatek’s the third player born in 2000 or later, male or female, to reach a major semifinal. The first two were Amanda Anisimova (semifinals at 2019 Roland Garros) and Bianca Andreescu (won 2019 US Open).
Podoroska’s not just Argentina’s No. 1 female player, she’s South America’s No. 1 female player. The next-highest-ranked South American woman is No. 169 Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay.
Kenin’s 15-1 in majors this year. She went 7-0 to win her first major at the Australian Open, 3-1 at the US Open (falling to Elise Mertens) and 5-0 so far here. Kvitova’s a pretty nifty 12-2 herself, too.
Kvitova’s 3-3 in major semifinals. And she’s won her last two in straight sets, beating Lucie Safarova in the 2014 Wimbledon semis, 7-6 (6), 6-1, and Danielle Collins in the 2019 Australian Open semis, 7-6 (2), 6-0.
Kenin’s 4-3 against left-handers at tour-level. Two of those losses came to Kvitova, at Miami in 2018 and Madrid in 2019, and the other loss came against Safarova at Quebec City in 2017.
Kvitova has an almost even record against Top 10 players. No. 11 Kvitova is 56-57 against Top 10 players going into her semifinal with No. 6 Kenin. Meanwhile, Kenin’s 15-25 against Top 20 players.
Happy Birthday, Garbine! Muguruza—who’s played Women’s Semifinals Day at Roland Garros twice before, going on to win the title in 2016 and falling in the semifinals in 2018—turns 27 today.
Yesterday’s Trivia: The only Roland Garros junior champion who was still in the draw going into Wednesday’s matches was Amdrey Rublev.