'Incredible': World No.5 ousted in historic French Open boilover

·4-min read
Nadia Podoroska is seen here celebrating her French Open quarter-final victory.
Nadia Podoroska is the first qualifier to reach the semi-finals of the French Open. Pic: Getty

Argentine Nadia Podoroska has caused one of the great French Open boilovers by downing Ukrainian third seed Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-4 to become the first qualifier ever to reach the women's semi-finals.

Podoroska, the world No.131, making only her second appearance in the main draw of a grand slam, emulates the 23-year-old achievement of Belgium's Filip Dewulf as the only qualifier in either of the singles draws since tennis turned professional in 1968 to make it to the last four at Roland Garros.

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"It's a little bit difficult for me to speak after the match, thank you everybody for your support, I'm very, very happy," Podoroska said on Court Philippe Chatrier after her "dream run" continued.

"We did a very good job with my coaches during quarantine. That's why I'm here today."

The 23-year-old qualifier was later asked if she needed to pinch herself in the wake of the historic achievement.

"I don't want to wake up," she replied, clearly still coming to terms with the incredible victory.

"The toughest part for me was two or three years ago. I had too many injuries. My ranking dropped.

"I was eight months out of the tour. Then I didn't have the money to start playing tournaments."

Svitolina was one of the pre-tournament favourites after winning the Strasbourg International last month but found herself on the back foot throughout before failing at the last-eight stage for the third time in Paris.

Podoroska's history-making win was met with an outpouring of support on social media.

Argentina's former world number three Gabriela Sabatini tweeted her congratulations to Podoroska, who added: "I have been in contact with Gaby.

"She's always supporting us, all the Argentinian sports. She's a very nice person. I'm happy that she's always with us."

Podoroska, a 23-year-old native of Rosario with Ukrainian ancestry, will next face Polish teenager Iga Swiatek who recovered from a nervy start to outclass Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan to reach the last-four.

Pictured here, Elina Svitolina looks disappointed during her French Open quarter-final.
Elina Svitolina has joined the list of big-name casualties at the French Open. Pic: Getty

The 19-year-old former Wimbledon junior champion, who thrashed top seed Simona Halep on Sunday, triumphed 6-3 6-1 over the 159th-ranked Trevisan in 78 minutes.

Swiatek, the world No.54, produced another dominant display, winning six of 11 break points, to become the first Polish woman to reach the French Open semis since Jadwiga Jedrzejowska was runner-up in 1939.

In a delayed fourth-round match, world No.57 Danielle Collins set up an all-American quarter-final with Sofia Kenin after a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory over 30th seed Ons Jabeur.

with AFP

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