French Open 2020: Who are the women's semi-finalists?

Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova is seeking a third Grand Slam title

The women's semi-finals takes place at an autumnal French Open on Thursday and are packed with intriguing storylines.

Petra Kvitova continues her fairytale comeback but will it be the Czech or Sofia Kenin who will take a step towards another Grand Slam title?

And which of semi-final debutants Nadia Podoroska and Iga Swiatek will await the winner in Saturday's final at Roland Garros?

Here is all you need to know about the last four women standing in Paris.

Nadia Podoroska

Nadia Podoroska
Podoroska's run in Paris will more than double her career earnings of $301,547 (£233,231) before the tournament's start

Argentina's Podoroska, 23, made history when she claimed her place in the final four, becoming the first qualifier in the Open era to reach the French Open women's semi-final.

The world number 131 had never won a Grand Slam match before the tournament - her only other major appearance was at the 2016 US Open - but stunned third seed Elina Svitolina to reach this stage.

The Argentine is already set to move into the world's top 50 after Roland Garros and will win at least £385,000, more than doubling the £233,000 she has earned so far in her career.

A wrist injury in July 2017 kept Podoroska out of the sport for eight months and she says she worried financial struggles would mean she could not return to tennis.

But should she make it all the way to Saturday, Podoroska will be the first qualifier in history to reach a Grand Slam final.

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek is yet to win a singles title on the WTA Tour

Nineteen-year-old Swiatek pulled off the biggest win of her career when she swept aside the top-seeded Simona Halep 6-1 6-2 in the last 16.

The Pole has a strong sporting background.

Her father Tomasz was an Olympic rower who competed in the quadruple sculls at Seoul 1988.

He wanted his daughter to take up an individual sport and, after settling on tennis, made her practise her shots while balancing in the water on a board. Apparently it was to improve her balance, coordination and precision.

Swiatek's music tastes dates back to well before her birth. She is a fan of rock gods AC/DC and Guns N' Roses.

Petra Kvitova

Kvitova has come through more than most to reach this stage and it has been an emotional run to the last four for the 30-year-old Czech.

The two-time Wimbledon champion is bidding for a first Grand Slam title since returning from a career-threatening knife attack in 2016, and this may be the perfect opportunity for the seventh seed.

Conditions on the Paris clay this year have been playing into her hands, with the tournament being held in the European autumn rather than in May-June.

An asthma sufferer, Kvitova will not be missing the springtime pollen and the cooler temperatures have suited her flatter hitting of the ball.

It was December 2016 when Kvitova suffered severe lacerations to all four fingers on her left hand - her playing hand - and had surgery.

Her surgeon said the chances of a return to tennis were low, but she was holding a racquet again by March. Two months later she was back playing the sport, at Roland Garros.

Sofia Kenin

Sofia Kenin
Sofia Kenin beat Garbine Muguruza in this year's Australian Open final

Sofia Kenin had not made it beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam before this year but the 21-year-old certainly stamped her name on the map by winning the Australian Open.

In doing so, Kenin became the youngest American woman to win a Grand Slam since Serena Williams won the 1999 US Open (when Kenin hadn't even turned a year old)

Born in Moscow, the 5ft 7in star moved to the US as a young child and first picked up a tennis racquet aged five.

The fourth seed will be playing in her first semi-final in Paris and is the highest-ranked player left in the draw.

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