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Iga Swiatek Stops Karolina Muchova to Claim Third Roland Garros Crown

Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates with her champion’s trophy after victory against Karolina Muchova of Czech Republic in the Women’s Singles Final match on Day Fourteen of the 2023 French Open at Roland Garros on June 10, 2023 in Paris, France. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Avid reader Iga Swiatek could see ominous writing on the wall.

Unseeded upstart Karolina Muchova applied her all-court skills to take a 4-3 lead in the final set putting Swiatek’s title defense in deep peril.

Scripting inspired comeback, a spirited Swiatek won three straight games subduing Muchova 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to capture her third Roland Garros crow in the last four years and fourth major championship.

A superb final ended on a soft note as Muchova double-faulted on championship point ending a gripping two hour, 46-minute final. Swiatek tossed her Tecnifibre racquet aside, dropped to her knees and wept with joy at the moment.

The 22-year-old Pole hit her way into history raising her Roland Garros record to 28-2 and joining Monica Seles and Naomi Osaka as the third woman in Open Era history to win each of her first four Grand Slam finals. Swiatek is the youngest woman since Seles (1990-92) to successfully defend Roland Garros.

“It was much harder for me this year than last year,” Swiatek told NBC’s Maria Taylor in her on-court interview. “Coming back after winning last year it was pretty tough because I knew that the expectations were a little higher.

“And I tried to manage that and work on that and I’m pretty happy I was able to do that. It was a pretty stressful tournament. I’m just happy that I won in the end. It’s pretty crazy.”

For all her wondrous racquet skills, Swiatek said self belief ultimately carried her to 14th career singles crown.

“Honestly, I think just belief,” Swiatek said. “I knew I had my chances in the second set to hit my serve and win it, but Karolina really did her best and started to play faster, I think.

“In the third it was all about belief, I would say, and just getting rid of all these thoughts about the score and just go for it and I did my best. It’s always amazing.”

Credit major maiden finalist Muchova, for her grit, confounding variety and nearly pulling off the improbable. Muchova roared back from 2-5 down in the final set stunning world no. 2 and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in a rousing semifinal to raise her record vs. Top 3 opponents to 5-0.

Bidding to become the fourth unseeded champion in Roland Garros history, Muchova was down 2-6, 0-3 today and on the verge of a blowout. Channeling the bold attacking game plan Italian Francesca Schiavone unveiled in stunning Samantha Stosur in the 2010 French Open final, a fierce Muchova fought all the way back taking leads for 2-0 and 4-3 in the final set.

A year ago, Muchova hobbled out of Roland Garros in tears after suffering a tournament-ending ankle injury.

Today, the 43rd-ranked Czech again shed tears as she was saluted by a standing ovation from appreciative French Open fans after receiving her runner-up trophy from Hall of Fame legend Chrissie Evert.

“I’ll try to keep this short because it’s emotional,” Muchova said. “This is incredible thank you. It’s been amazing three weeks in Paris. This was so close yet so far that’s what happens when you [play] one of the best Iga, so I want to congratulate you and your team.

“I want to thank each one of you it’s impossible but thank you very much guys I would not be standing here if you were not pushing me every match the energy and everything I’ve never lived this and this is unbelievable so thank you everything.”

A jubilant Swiatek shook the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen with so much joy she rattled the top right off the silver trophy.