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Qualifier Nadia Podoroska makes history at the French Open after stunning Elina Svitolina

Nadia Podoroska made history at the...

Posted: Oct 6, 2020 9:28 AM

Nadia Podoroska made history at the French Open on Tuesday by becoming the first-ever qualifier to reach the women's singles semifinals at Roland Garros.

Ranked 131st in the world, Argentine Podoroska had never beaten a top 50 player coming into the tournament but stunned No.3 seed Elina Svitolina in straight sets -- 6-2 6-4.

Podoroska also becomes the first female qualifier in 21 years to reach the final four of any grand slam.

The 23-year-old showed impressive efficiency and nerves of steel throughout the quarterfinal match, celebrating her victory by throwing her racket into the air with joy.

"It's difficult for me to speak after the match, but thanks everyone for your support. I'm very, very happy!" said Podoroska, per the WTA.

"I try to play every kind of shot. We did a good job with my coaches during quarantine. I've been training a lot with all of my team and I think that's why I'm here today."

She will face either teenager Iga Swiatek or fellow qualifier Martina Trevisan in the semifinals.

A qualifier is a player outside of the top rankings who secures their position in the main draw through a qualifying tournament.

READ: After playing match with Covid-like symptoms, Zverev says he's tested negative

More history to come?

Despite never winning a main draw match at a grand slam before this tournament, Podoroska was unfazed by her opponent's experience.

Svitolina had been the only WTA title winner remaining in the top half of the French Open draw. She'd reached the semifinals of both Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

The Ukrainian showed glimpses of her ability throughout the encounter but never fully stamped her authority on the match.

The first set flew by in 35 minutes before the second became a more even affair.

However, it was Podoroska who came out on top, squandering two match points before sealing a memorable victory.

The last female qualifier to reach the final four of a grand slam was Alexandra Stevenson at Wimbledon in 1999. Podoroska will hope to go one better by reaching the final in Paris.

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