Svitolina vs Podoroska French Open tennis preview, head-to-head and predictions

hannahwilks in French Open 05 Oct 2020
Elina Svitolina (Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA)

Elina Svitolina, now the favourite to make the French Open final, is out to end the run of Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska in the quarterfinals.

Svitolina vs Podoroska is live from Roland Garros on Tuesday 6 October, 1pm local/12pm BST

The only seeded player remaining in the top half of the French Open draw, Elina Svitolina has earned a golden opportunity to make her first Roland Garros semifinal if she can impose her authority on Nadia Podoroska, a surprise quarterfinalist in Paris.

French Open 2020: Find out tournament information for Roland Garros 2020 and how to stream French Open matches live

Podoroska has been on a brilliant run, winning seven matches to make the main draw and then the last 16, but the world no. 131 has never so much as faced a top-20 player, let alone beaten one inside the top 10 – can she pull off the biggest surprise of this upset-filled Roland Garros yet?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Svitolina vs Podoroska: Head-to-head

Elina Svitolina and Nadia Podoroska have never played.

Svitolina vs Podoroska: Preview

Elina Svitolina has looked like a potential Grand Slam champion since the Ukrainian first established herself as a fixture inside the top 10 and started winning prestigious titles like the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and the WTA Finals – and when she made her first two Grand Slam quarterfinals at the French Open, Roland Garros looked like a likely place for her to claim her first crown. But she’s never had an opportunity like this to reach her first Grand Slam final, in conditions in which she should be so comfortable: There’s no Simona Halep or Serena Williams with a major advantage of experience over her waiting in the semifinals; she’s the only seeded player remaining in her half of the draw, and the only one with any experience of getting this far in Grand Slams.

I didn’t think Svitolina was playing very well at the start of the tournament – she was lucky to avoid any really threatening opponents, and still got bagelled by qualifier Renata Zarazua – but when she did face a genuine obstacle in the last 16 in the form of Caroline Garcia, who had beaten her in their last three meetings, she did something she’s been unable to do at times in previous majors: Lift her game to meet the occasion. Svitolina played her best match of the tournament in tricky, windy conditions to smother Garcia with relentless depth, serving well, keeping the crowd from becoming a factor as they had done when Garcia played Elise Mertens and above all giving away as few unforced errors as possible off the ground.

Nadia Podoroska (Photo by Rob Prange/DPPI/Icon Sportswire)

Svitolina’s 6-1, 6-3 win, in which she was broken twice but broke Garcia six times, sets up a quarterfinal clash with Nadia Podoroska, not a player with whom many were familiar before this tournament. Podoroska, 23 years old, was on her way into the top 150 back in 2017 but was derailed by injury and began the 2020 season as the world no. 258, winning her first 15 matches of the season at ITF level. Since the shutdown, Podoroska has successfully qualified for Palermo, made the semifinals of the Prague 125k event and now made her run at Roland Garros, beating Greet Minnen, Yulia Putintseva, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Barbora Krejcikova to reach the quarterfinals. She’s been impressive, but she hasn’t faced anybody of the calibre of Kenin and if the Ukrainian plays another relatively clean match, she should book her place in the semifinals in short order.

Svitolina vs Podoroska: Prediction

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