With her victory over No. 3 seed Elina Svitolina on Tuesday, Nadia Podoroska did something no women’s tennis player has ever done at the French Open. Podoroska is the first qualifier to reach the women’s singles semifinals at the French Open. Her upset win at Roland Garros on Tuesday also made her the first female qualifier to advance to the final four of any grand slam in the last 21 years.
The 131st ranked player defeated her top-ranked opponent, 6-2, 6-4. This tournament marks the first time the Argentinian has ever defeated a top 50 player.
The 23-year-old appeared unfazed going in as the underdog but was nearly speechless following the win. She found a few words to express the feeling of such a historic victory after the match.
Here’s what she said, according to CNN:
“It’s difficult for me to speak after the match, but thanks everyone for your support. I’m very, very happy. 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.”
Next up for Podoroska will either be Iga Swiatek or qualifier Martina Trevisan in the semifinals. The last time a qualifier made the final four of a grand slam was in 1999, when Alexandra Stevenson did so at Wimbledon.
No qualifier has ever made it to the final in the Slam Open era.