Swiatek Wins Third Roland Garros Title After Going Distance Against Muchova

Swiatek Wins Third Roland Garros Title After Going Distance Against Muchova

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek had to fight in the 2023 Roland Garros final against an inspired Karolina Muchova.

Already when the second Grand Slam of the season started, there was only one name that appeared on the top of the favourites list, and it was Iga Swiatek. Her compatriot Agnieszka Radwanska even claimed that only the Pole herself and Aryna Sabalenka can beat her.

But that meeting didn't happen as the Belarusian lost in the semifinals to an inspired Muchova and the Czech player also wanted to challenge the World No. 1 on the WTA Tour in the final. In her previous meetings against the Top 3 players, she never lost before, and extending that streak would mean Muchova's maiden Grand Slam title.

But Swiatek, who entered the final without losing a set at this year's Roland Garros, was aiming to win already her third title at the trophy, already starting talks about possibly challenging Rafael Nadal's 14 in the future.

Another thing playing in Muchova's favour was the fact that she knows how it feels to beat the Pole. In their only meeting on the WTA Tour, the Czech player was victorious, and she defeated Swiatek also in an exhibition match in 2020.

Yet, playing a lower-tier event or an exhibition, and entering the Court Philippe-Chatrier to challenge the World No. 1 for the Roland Garros title are two different things and that showed already in the first set of the match.

Swiatek didn't wait around to give her opponent time to think about winning, and sprinted into a 3-0 lead early on, winning 13 of the opening 16 rallies. Muchova had one chance to break back in the opening set, but after she didn't use her chance, the Pole added another break, winning the first set 6-2.

Muchova couldn't learn from her mistake in the first set, and started the second part of the match on the back foot too. This time, the two-time Roland Garros champion won 13 of the first 17 rallies, once again leading 3-0.

But this time, the Czech player was determined to turn the score around. She won the following three games, leveling the score at 3-3. Fighting in the second set, Muchova was able to win it 7-5 and become the first player at this year's Roland Garros to take a set away from the Pole.

The Czech was up a break twice also in the deciding set, but in the end, experience from the Grand Slam finals proved to be a deciding factor, playing in Swiatek's favour. After two hours and 49 minutes, the Pole won the match 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, lifting her third Roland Garros trophy.


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