She never had made the quarterfinals at any clay-court tournament until this trip to Roland Garros — and lost her only tuneup match on the surface 6-0, 6-0 last month.
“My mentality has obviously changed,” said Kenin, who said she derived a boost of confidence from upsetting Serena Williams at Roland Garros a year ago.
On the other hand, consider how dominant she has been along the way to becoming the lowest-ranked women’s finalist at Roland Garros since the WTA computer rankings began in 1975.
Swiatek vs. Podoroska was the first women’s semifinal at Roland Garros between unseeded opponents since 1983 — and only one, Swiatek, truly seemed ready for the stage.
I’m, like, not letting my opponents play their best tennis,” Swiatek said.