French Open Highlights: Karolina Muchova stuns Aryna Sabalenka, reaches maiden Grand Slam final
Karolina Muchova stunned World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka with a 7-6, 6-7, 7-5 victory top reach her maiden Grand Slam final. Down 2-5 in the third set, Muchova was on the verge of losing the contest. She however saved match point and made a terrific comeback as she won the semifinal contest at the French Open on Thursday, 8th June 2023.
French Open Highlights: Karolina Muchova stunned World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka with a 7-6, 6-7, 7-5 victory top reach her maiden Grand Slam final. Down 2-5 in the third set, Muchova was on the verge of losing the contest. She however saved match point and made a terrific comeback as she won the semifinal contest at the French Open on Thursday, 8th June 2023.
Muchova, a former Top 20 player currently ranked No.43, erased the match point while down 5-2 in the third set, then reeled off five games in a row to upset Sabalenka.
Muchova leveled her head-to-head against Sabalenka at 1-1 with the 3-hour and 13-minute comeback victory, which ranks inside the 20 longest matches of the 2023 season.
Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open earlier this year, suffered her first loss at a 2023 Grand Slam event after starting the year 12-0 at the majors. Sabalenka can still exit Paris as World No.1 if defending champion Iga Swiatek loses in the second semifinal later on Thursday.
Once again, Muchova brought her best tennis when facing the world’s top-ranked players. Muchova came into the semifinal with a 4-0 win-loss record against players ranked inside the Top 3 at the time of their meeting, and the Czech added another victory to that perfect record on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Muchova, who has been beset with injuries throughout her career, is projected to return to the Top 20 of the WTA rankings on Monday. If she wins her first Grand Slam title on Saturday, she could make her Top 10 debut.
In the first set, Muchova failed to convert a set point at 5-4, but she regrouped and held firm through the tiebreak, converting her second set point with a backhand winner down the line.
In the topsy-turvy second set, Muchova led by an early 2-0 break before Sabalenka charged to her own break lead at 4-3. Once again, the set was decided by a tiebreak, and the Sabalenka power game prevailed this time around, tying up the match.
Sabalenka led 4-2 in the third set, and she consolidated with an ace for a 5-2 lead. Sabalenka held a match point in the next game; the Czech saved that chance with a forehand winner, but Sabalenka still served for the match at 5-3.
However, Muchova carved her way back into contention, drawing errors from Sabalenka and reaching level footing at 5-5. In that game, Sabalenka hit two consecutive double faults from 40-15 up, and two points later, Muchova slammed a forehand winner to break for 6-5. After winning her fourth straight game, Muchova served out the match with a commanding hold at love, completing the stunning comeback.
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