10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Swiatek Returns to Roland Garros Final Against Muchova

Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates winning match point against Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil during the Women’s Singles Semi-Final match on Day Twelve of the 2023 French Open at Roland Garros on June 08, 2023 in Paris, France. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

The tiebreaker stress test surrounded Iga Swiatek like a cloud of red dust.

Seeing the light, Swiatek punctured suspense with a series of piercing forehands.

World No. 1 Swiatek saved a set point in the tiebreaker beating Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 7-6(7) to advance to her third Roland Garros final in the last five years.

It was Swiatek’s 13th straight Roland Garros win—she improves to 27-2 in Paris—and ensures she will retain the world No. 1 ranking when the French Open ends. 

Swiatek will face Czech Karolina Muchova in the championship match.

Reigning champion Swiatek’s win, which followed 43rd-ranked Muchova’s five game surge to cap a 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-5 comeback upset of world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in today’s first semifinal, means the 22-year-old Pole will stay in the top spot regardless of the result of Saturday’s final.

In their lone prior clash on the clay of Prague in 2019, Muchova beat a teenage Swiatek 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Muchova, who holds an outstanding 5-0 record against Top-3 ranked opponents, knows this is a much more accomplished champion she will face on Saturday, but carries the confidence of knocking out Australian Open champion Sabalenka in a thriller.

“It just show me that I can play against them,” Muchova said. “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 boost my confidence.”

Two-time champion Swiatek is the first woman to reach successive French Open finals since Simona Halep in 2017-2018 and the youngest woman to contest consecutive Roland Garros finals since Ana Ivanovic (2007-2008).

It wasn’t easy as major semifinal débutante Haddad Maia hammered the top seed’s second serve winning 17 of 30 points played on the Pole’s second serve and earning seven break points in the match.

Holding a set point at 6-5 in the tiebreaker, Haddad Maia tightened up and flattened a routine forehand rally ball into net. Swiatek dodged danger and drilled two final forehand winners two close in two hours, nine minutes. It was Swiatek’s closest Roland Garros victory since a  6-7(5), 6-0, 6-2 fourth-round triumph over Zheng Qinwen in May of 2022.