Podoroska becomes first qualifier to reach French Open semifinals

Joy unbound
Nadia Podoroska celebrates her win. Photo: Reuters
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Paris: Argentine Nadia Podoroska became the first qualifier to reach the French Open semifinals in the women's singles draw when she downed Ukrainian third seed Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday.

The world No. 131, on her second appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam, emulates Belgium's Filip Dewulf, 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, in 1997.

Svitolina, one of the pre-tournament favourites after winning the Strasbourg International last month, was on the back foot throughout, failing at the last-eight stage for the third time at the claycourt Grand Slam.

Podoroska next faces either Polish teenager Iga Swiatek or another qualifier, Italian Martina Trevisan.Should Trevisan prevail in her quarterfinal, it would ensure a qualifier plays in the final of a Grand Slam for the first time in the Open era.

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