The French Insider #8: Tsitsipas’ will to go further, Kenin’s competitiveness and more

The French Insider is your unmissable video and podcast show during the 2020 French Open. In this eighth show, Jenny Drummond hosts journalist Simon Cambers and coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

October 9, 2020
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The figures

In the eighth episode of The French Insider, host Jenny Drummond talks to journalist Simon Cambers and coach Patrick Mouratoglou to reflect on the women’s semi-finals – and look forward to the men’s final four.

There was plenty to say about the unseeded Iga Swiatek, into her first ever Grand Slam final after beating Nadia Podoroska 6-2, 6-1.

“Swiatek is so settled and happy in her game,” said Cambers. “It’s amazing it’s only two years since she won Junior Wimbledon, and now she is in a Grand Slam final.

“If 2020 shows us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.”


In the other semi-final, two Grand Slam champions clashed as two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova took on this year’s Australian Open titlist Sofia Kenin, with the American coming out on top, 6-4, 7-5.

“I think Kvitova was nervous,” said Cambers. “She missed by the narrowest of margins all the way through the match – that must be frustrating.

“Kenin showed a lot of maturity – that Australian Open win must have done her an enormous amount of good. She beat Ash Barty in Australia – she showed the resilience.”

It’s set up a very young French Open final – 19-year-old Swiatek against 21-year-old Kenin, who have met each other once before, in Junior Roland-Garros, where the Pole came out on top.

“I can see Swiatek winning it – if she plays her game,” concluded Cambers.

‘Almost perfect’

On the men’s side, he finds it hard to see past the big names.

Diego Schwartzman may have beaten Rafael Nadal last month in Rome, but Cambers does not think that means he will repeat the truck in Paris: “I just can’t see Schwartzman winning over five sets.”

And even when Novak Djokovic is struggling physically, he still poses a massive threat.

“He knows what he needs to do, and you have to play almost perfect tennis to beat him,” said Cambers, throwing down a challenge to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“I think he can trouble Djokovic – he just has to play great.”

Coach Patrick Mouratoglou had a bit of a warning to add for the world No 1, though, when it comes to the Greek: “This has been his dream since he was a kid – to reach the last stages of Grand Slams and win them.

“He’s really a winner. In his mind, he’s always believed in himself, and he will not be satisfied with a semi-final.”

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