Chennai | Swan retires ill, leaving Linette to face Fruhvirtova in the final
Britain’s Katie Swan was forced to withdraw from her Chennai Open semi-final match against Magda Linette on Saturday due to illness, while talented teenager Linda Fruhvirtova edged Nadia Podoroska in 3 sets to reach his first WTA final.
Since I was very young, we always had a lot of attention, even though it was the national U-10 tournament. I’m a little used to people watching how I’m going to do. However, in tennis, as soon as you lose two matches, people say, “Oh, she’s falling”, then you win two matches and they say, “She’s a star”. You can’t really focus on what other people are saying. That’s not where I focus. Linda Fruhvirtova
Britain’s No. 6 Swan entered an 8-game winning streak on Saturday after finishing her quarter-final meeting with Japan’s Nao Hibino at 3 a.m., a match in which she needed medical attention.
She was later leading 3-0 to Linette, Poland’s No. 3 seed, after just 16 minutes in their last 4 encounter when she called for a medical time-out and, after being assessed by doctors, Swan was not good enough for resume.
“I feel bad for Katie,” Linette said later. “She gave it her all yesterday, and it looks like she paid the price today.”
The Polish world No. 67 will take on 17-year-old Fruhvirtova after the Czech came from behind to outlast Roland Garros 2020 semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska of Argentina 5-7 6-2 6-4 in a exciting battle.
Swan’s performance this week, however, has already ensured she will enter the world’s top 150 when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday.
Fruhvirtova played out of her skin to get the better of Podoroska in 2 hours and 53 minutes in a contest that pushed both to their limits and had the crowd cheering at SDAT Tennis Stadium.
The teenager kept her cool during the slug-fest which saw the world No. 130 turn a stark deficit into an impressive win.
In the high-quality semi-final, Fruhvirtova’s talent was on full display in front of the cheering crowd, producing a nerveless display of the 3rd set as she battled a breakdown to edge the contest, earning her a place in the top-100 for the first time.
“It was the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in,” said the 17-year-old. “Respect to her [Podoroska]. She played amazing.
“I never thought I would win three sets against her. She pushed me beyond my limits.
Despite opening back-to-back double faults, Fruhvirtova’s power stood out, especially from the backhand wing from which she hit balls when she had the time and space.
This has forced Podoroska, who largely plays percentage tennis and only pulls the trigger when the kill is assured, to up her game.
The Argentine used short angles well and denied Fruhvirtova the chance to dictate from midfield, making the young Czech a hit on the run which led to a sprinkling of errors.
Podoroska broke in games 5 and 7 to have two good looks in the first set but, just as she did in her quarter-final against Eugenie Bouchard, a medical timeout from her opponent for exhaustion, which lasted 8 minutes , threw her out of rhythm, and the score was tied at 5-5.
The Argentine recovered well to break and hold in quick succession to pocket the opener, and when the 25-year-old broke Fruhvirtova’s serve again in the opener of the second, the writing seemed to be on the wall .
The tables turned however, as Fruhvirtova broke 3 times to cross the set in 39 minutes losing just 2 games, with Podoroska now eating her angles and, lacking power, finding herself trailing.
At 2-2 in the deciding match, the momentum changed again when Podoroska broke for 3-2, and Fruhvirtova called for another time-out, this time to tie up her left ankle, which took 7 minutes.
The Argentine didn’t let that affect him and instead practiced side shadow while the treatment was administered.
She held on after saving a break point for 4-2 when play resumed, only to falter on her next delivery, allowing the Czech to level at 4-4.
On Podoroska’s serve at 4-5, Fruhvirtova racked up 3 match points, which Argentina erased, the last with a casual cushioning, but threw in the towel when she inadvertently double faulted on the 4th.
“It was definitely one of the toughest matches I’ve played,” Fruhvirtova said afterwards. “She was just spectacular, and I just wanted to hang on to deepen the game.”
On her state of mind when trailing 2-4 in the third set, she replied, “I had negative thoughts myself but I wanted to give my best.
“She’s a very good player and I wanted to make sure I stayed in the game.”
Fruhvirtova will face Linette in the final on Sunday, while her little sister, Brenda, is on a 24-game winning streak on the ITF Tour.
Since winning Les Petits As in 2020, the eldest of these two Fruhvirtova sisters, Linda, has been tagged as a potential Grand Slam winner and best player.
“Since I was very young, we always got a lot of attention, even though it was the national U-10 tournament,” Fruhvirtova told WTA. “I’m used to people watching how I’m going to do.
“However, in tennis, as soon as you lose two matches, people say, ‘Oh, she falls’ and then you win two matches and they say, ‘She’s a star’. You can’t really focus on what say the others. That’s not where I focus.
At 17 years and 140 days, Fruhvirtova is the youngest finalist in a Tour-level event since Coco Gauff won the title at Parma 2021 at 17 years and 70 days, and she is also the youngest Czech finalist since Nicole Vaidisova won the title. in 2006 Strasbourg at 17 years, 34 days.
On the other side of the world, her sister, Brenda, 15, made a final in Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy, which puts her on track to qualify for the FIFA Qualifiers draw. Australian Open.
The little sister is already in the Top 200 before her 16th birthday, and the two Fruhvirtovas are among the main candidates to make headlines very soon.
Like the Williams sisters, the Fruhvirtova sisters are very close and Linda looks forward to traveling alongside her burgeoning sister for the same tournaments.
“It looks like we’re going to Australia together, which is really exciting,” she said. “She played incredibly well.
“She’s a very tough opponent for any player and I think she’ll do well even in the biggest tournaments.”
In the first match of the day in Chennai, top seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani reached the doubles final with a clinical 6-3 6-3 win over Peangtam Plipuech and Moyuka Uchijima in just 61 minutes.