Paris, June 9
U nseeded Karolina Muchova clinched her first spot in a Grand Slam final as she stunned World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-5 on Thursday at the ongoing French Open 2023.
nseeded Karolina Muchova clinched her first spot in a Grand Slam final as she stunned World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-5 on Thursday at the ongoing French Open 2023.
Muchova saved a match point while behind 2-5 in the third set, then won five games in a row. It took three hours and 13 minutes for Muchova to script a comeback victory 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-5 against World No.2 Sabalenka.
Czech Muchova will face World No.1 Iga Swiatek in the championship match.
Muchova failed to convert a set point at 5-4 in the opening set, but she rallied and held firm during the tiebreak, converting her second set point with a backhand winner down the line.
Muchova took an early 2-0 break lead in the second set before Sabalenka surged to her own break lead at 4-3. The set was decided by a tiebreak once more, and Sabalenka's power game prevailed this time, tying the match.
The Czech player completed the astonishing comeback by serving out the match with a powerful hold at love after winning her fourth consecutive game. Muchova converted all five of her break points, whereas Sabalenka had 13 but only converted four.
"Emotions, it's been a roller coaster. 2-5 in the third, but I still kind of knew it's just one break and I was waiting for my chances. ... I just try to play point by point. Super glad that I turned it around and then managed to win the match," WTA.com quoted Muchova as saying.
"I didn't really even know about this statistic. It just shows me that I can play against [the Top 3]. I can compete, and obviously, the matches are super close. Even today, match ball down, you really never know if I win or lose, but it's great to know that I have the chance to win, and I win against the top players, and that for sure boosts my confidence," Muchova said.
"I think everything has its own time. In the past, it was not easy. That's actually what makes me appreciate this result even more now because I know what I have been through in the past. To be now in a Grand Slam final, it's for sure my dream," the Czech player added.
"There have been many moments, many lows, I would say, from one injury to another. ... Some doctors told me, you know, maybe you'll not do sport anymore. But I always kept it kind of positive in my mind, and tried to work and do all the exercises to be able to come back," she added.
French Open: Karolina Muchova topples World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka to reach first Grand Slam final
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