Svitolina, Swiatek on guard against French Open outsiders

Paris (AFP) –


Elina Svitolina must beware the trend of tumbling seeds at this year's French Open when she takes on Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska on Tuesday for a place in the semi-finals.

The Ukrainian third seed is the highest-ranked player left in the tournament and could be on a collision course with Iga Swiatek, the conqueror of 2018 champion and title favourite Simona Halep.

The Polish teenager is bristling with confidence going into her clash with Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan.

AFP Sport looks at the two quarter-finals:

Elina Svitolina (UKR x3) v Nadia Podoroska (ARG)

Head-to-head: First meeting

-- Svitolina will hope it is third time lucky after two previous French Open quarter-final exits in 2015 and 2017.

The Ukrainian led Halep 6-3, 5-1 in the last eight three years ago, and had a match point, before suffering a gut-wrenching collapse.

The world number five is coming off a 15th WTA title at Strasbourg but admitted she had "no idea" what to expect from the 23-year-old Podoroska, who is playing in just her second major.

Podoroska was ranked at 255 at the start of the year and has won 42 matches across all tours in 2020 despite the truncated season.

The Argentine, whose other Grand Slam appearance came at the 2016 US Open, is now up to 131 and will make her top 100 debut after the tournament.

"I don't have vertigo. My idea is carry on as I have and see how far I can go," said Podoroska.

Paths to quarter-finals (x denotes seeded player):


1st rd: bt Varvara Gracheva (RUS) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

2nd rd: bt Renata Zarazua (MEX) 6-3, 0-6, 6-2

3rd rd: bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS x27) 6-4, 7-5

4th rd: bt Caroline Garcia (FRA) 6-1, 6-3


1st rd: bt Greet Minnen (BEL) 6-2, 6-1

2nd rd: bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ x23) 6-3, 1-6, 6-2

3rd rd: bt Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 6-3, 6-2

4th rd: bt Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3

Iga Swiatek v Martina Trevisan

Head-to-head: Level at 1-1

-- The 19-year-old Swiatek sent shockwaves through the competition with her brutal demolition of Halep, avenging a 45-minute loss to the Romanian at the same stage last year.

"I am surprised I could do this," admitted Swiatek after ending the 17-match winning streak of Halep, the overwhelming favourite in the absence of Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka and following the withdrawal of Serena Williams.

After earning her first top 10 win, the pressure now switches to Swiatek in a showdown against shock quarter-finalist Trevisan, the world number 159 who hadn't won a main draw match at a Slam before Roland Garros.

Trevisan has openly discussed her past struggles with anorexia, demonstrating her resilience and ability to overcome hurdles by twice fighting back from a set down in Paris.

Like Swiatek, she also notched her biggest victory to date by taking out eighth seed Kiki Bertens in the last round and will crack the top 100 after a breakthrough display here.

Paths to quarter-finals (x denotes seeded player):


1st rd: bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE x15) 6-1, 6-2

2nd rd: bt Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 6-1, 6-4

3rd rd: bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 6-3, 6-2

4th rd: bt Simona Halep (ROU x1) 6-1, 6-2


1st rd: bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 7-5, 3-0 - retired

2nd rd: bt Coco Gauff (USA) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5

3rd rd: bt Maria Sakkari (GRE x20) 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3

4th rd: bt Kiki Bertens (NED x5) 6-4, 6-4