Karolina Muchová beats Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka to reach French Open tennis final

In a marathon match lasting over three hours, Muchová claimed a shock win over the world number two after winning five consecutive games in the last set.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 08.06.2023 19:56:00 (updated on 09.06.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

World number 43 Czech Karolina Muchová is in the French Open final after ousting world number 2 Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka this afternoon in three close sets (7:6, 6:7, 7:5). She made an epic comeback in the third set after being 2:5 down and saving a match point.

"I don't really know what happened," Muchová said. "It is unbelievable. I tried to keep fighting and it worked. I'm so happy,” she told BBC News after the end of the 3-hour-plus match.

Muchová, who is the fifth-ranked Czech women’s player, had never made it past the semi-finals of a Grand Slam – a name for four of tennis’s major tournaments. Her previous best result at a Grand Slam was at the Australian Open in 2021. 

Sabalenka and Muchová had played once before, in 2019, when the Belarusian came out on top. Sabalenka won 2023's first Grand Slam – the Australian Open – in January.

This is the first time since 2021 that a Czech women’s singles player has made it to a Grand Slam final. Barbora Krejčíková achieved the same feat in 2021, also at the French Open, and went on to win the tournament. The 26-year-old will play her first Grand Slam final early Saturday afternoon against either world number one Iga Swiątek from Poland or Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil, who is ranked 14th in the world.

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