An abdominal injury kept Muchova sidelined for more than half a year in 2021, and last year her body failed her for the umpteenth time. The Czech had to give up in the third round at Roland Garros and needed a wheelchair to leave the tournament in Paris.
This was the thousandth setback for Muchova in a short time. “Some doctors told me I might never be able to exercise again. But I wanted to stay positive and tried everything I could to keep coming back.”
That resilience was brought to the surface again on Thursday in her semi-final match against Aryna Sabalenka in Paris. She survived a match point against the world number two and won five matches in a row to secure her first place in a Grand Slam final. “Life has its ups and downs. Right now I’m enjoying being in a good phase.”
Because of all her injuries, Muchova was still out of the world’s top 200 players in September. It has now moved to the 43rd position in the world rankings.
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Muchová has already beaten Swiatek once
With Iga Swiatek, Muchova will meet the defending champion and world number one in the final. However, it was Swiatek who lost the previous, and only, meeting at WTA level. In Prague, Muchova won four years ago in three sets: 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
“I don’t think I’ll be the favourite,” said Muchova. “But it shows that I can play against the best in the world and fight for the win. It feels great and ensures that I enter the track with great confidence.”
The final between Swiatek and Muchová starts on Saturday around 3pm at Stade Philippe-Chatrier. For Swatic, this is the second consecutive final in Paris. Last year she beat Coco Gauff in straight sets.
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