French Open Women’s Final Predictions: Sofia Kenin vs Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek celebrates her victory over Simona Halep

We have reached the women’s final at the French Open. American Sofia Kenin will face off against only the second Grand Slam finalist from Poland, Iga Swiatek. This match should be a great contrast of styles between the defensive, counter-punching Kenin and the powerful baseliner Swiatek. Who will win? Our writers share their thoughts. Predicting this match are Jim Smith, Harsh Bhoot, Andrew Watson, David Gertler, and Pablo Mosquera.

French Open Women’s Final Predictions:

Sofia Kenin vs Iga Swiatek

Jim:
Based on how well they have played so far at the French Open, the obvious pick here has to be Swiatek. After all, she has hardly dropped games, let alone sets. Even up against pre-tournament favorite Simona Halep. Kenin, meanwhile, has progressed more by force of will than by the quality of her tennis. But it is Kenin’s great strength that she seems able, almost always anyway, to drag her opponents into a battle and then to win that battle. She may just be able to do so again here.
Prediction: Kenin in 3

Harsh:
Sofia Kenin has once again shown that she’s one of the strongest players mentally. She lost 6-0 6-0 to Azarenka in Rome and only she knows how she’s managed to turnaround her fortunes so quickly. Kenin moves extremely well on clay and her consistent game was enough to dispatch Petra Kvitova in the semifinal, who looked slightly off her usual game. The American has passed all her tests so far but the final should be her toughest yet.

Iga Swiatek didn’t look like she was playing her first Grand Slam semifinal. The Pole dominated from start to finish and her serve was on song except for a solitary break. Swiatek will be hoping her serve fires once again but Kenin is a solid returner and that makes this match extremely tough to call. Expect this match to go the distance and if Swiatek isn’t nervous at the back end of the third set, the Pole should just clinch it on the back of her heavier groundstrokes.
Prediction: Swiatek in 3

Andrew:
The young Pole has ripped through the draw like she was holding a rapier instead of a racket. It is incredible that she has lost only 23 games in 12 sets played. Not one player has been able to stand up to the combination of ferocious power and subtlety of Swiatek, Su-Wei Hsieh almost deserves a prize for managing to win four games in a set!

However, if any player can stand up to the Pole it may well be Kenin. Her fighting spirit is redoubtable and in a way it was surprising that she didn’t drag her semifinal to three sets just for the fun of it. This isn’t to demean Kenin’s skills though, she is excellent on both wings and moves exceptionally well. She will need that movement to attempt to get to Swiatek’s groundstrokes, but I still feel that won’t be enough. Under normal circumstances Swiatek may have been nervous, but the lack of a capacity crowd may help her to just settle down and play her game. If she is able to do that then I back her to win in straight sets.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2

David:
Iga Swiatek is playing the best tennis of her young career. She is very confident from the baseline and playing with controlled aggression at a very high level. Sofia Kenin won her maiden Major at the Australian Open earlier this year. Kenin is clearly not afraid of the big stage and is one of the most mentally tough players on tour. This is Swiatek’s first Grand Slam final and she will almost certainly be more nervous than Kenin. The American’s shot-making ability, rally tolerance, and ability to not cede control of the baseline against Petra Kvitova in the semifinals were all very impressive. Given that Kenin also has the mental edge, I think she has the advantage in this one.
Prediction: Kenin in 3

Embed from Getty Images

Pablo:
When the draw came out two weeks ago, few people would have predicted this final. Kenin had been double bageled by Vika Azarenka in Rome, while the 19-year-old Swiatek was dealt a ridiculously tough opener in reigning finalist Marketa Vondrousova. But both have defied the odds this fortnight. Kenin overcame an unconvincing first week and is now looking quite comfortable on clay.

However, it feels like Swiatek is playing a different sport. She produces effortless power off both wings without over-hitting. Kenin cannot afford to trade direct punches from the baseline and will try to unsettle Swiatek with high balls and off-speed shots, but that plan won’t cut it either. Everything the Pole touches turns to gold at the moment. Kenin won’t be capable of keeping up with Swiatek’s sustained aggression. Expect the same outcome as in their previous meeting in Paris as juniors, back in 2016.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2

Main Photo from Getty.


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