Home » Tennis pro Iga Swiatek wins against Karolina Muchova at the French Open

Tennis pro Iga Swiatek wins against Karolina Muchova at the French Open

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Tennis pro Iga Swiatek wins against Karolina Muchova at the French Open

SShe came, saw, conquered and ended up having more luggage than when she arrived. As always, when Iga Swiatek comes to Paris to play tennis, she has reaped the rewards again this year. Because it’s her birthday during the French Open, the tournament organizers give her a few gifts every time. Including a cake that she usually keeps her hands off, but this time she treated herself to a piece.

It tasted pretty good, but wasn’t nearly as wonderfully sweet as the gift that Swiatek had worked hard for herself ten days after her 22nd birthday: on Saturday she held the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen in her hands, but shook them so briefly and violently that the lid fell off.

You can’t bag the original and take it home with you, but there’s a replica. It is Swiatek’s third souvenir after her fifth trip to Roland Garros. “I love being here, it’s my favorite place on the tour,” said the Pole.

After the 6:2, 5:7 and 6:4 final victory over the Czech Karolina Muchova, Swiatek shed tears of relief and happiness on Saturday. She had worked hard against her unseeded opponent, number 43 in the world, and had to fight hard against her own nerves before Muchova finally made it easy for her: she served a double fault on the first match point. At the ceremony at the end, Muchova initially lost her voice. “It’s so emotional, what happens when you play against the best in the world,” said the Czech with tears.

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Iga Swiatek has now won all three of her Roland Garros finals. In addition to the titles of 2020 and 2022, she also triumphed at the US Open last year. “No. 4 – surreal,” Swiatek wrote on Saturday on the running TV camera: “Thank you, Paris!” Three titles from the last five Grand Slam tournaments, that also makes the Pole the undisputed number one in women’s tennis. It was already clear after Muchova’s semi-final victory against second-placed Aryna Sabalenka that she would remain the world number one.

Two days earlier, Muchova had coolly fended off a match point against the Belarusian, but she went into her first Grand Slam final with visibly fluttering nerves. As a result, the classical potpourri, which an orchestra presented as the overture of the finale on the Philippe Chatrier court, had significantly more punch than long stretches of the subsequent game.

Joint training sessions

The eight dancers who contorted to the music also moved more freely than Muchova. Their varied game looked promising to begin with: a net attack here, a stop ball there, and more speed in between. But with too many mistakes, the 26-year-old spoiled a lot of finesse, especially since Swiatek on the other hand often stayed solid with her strategic chess-tennis.

The Czech knew what to expect from many joint training sessions. But it’s something else to practice with a colleague in secret or face her as the defending champion in one of the four most important women’s matches of the year.

Swiatek, for her part, was not free from nervousness, but was often able to pull through her game, which was as unspectacular as it was relentless. After 46 minutes, the Pole had completed the first part of her working day with a 6:2 score. She had only once run the risk of giving up her serve. When she then conceded three breaks in the second set but only recovered two, she had lost a set for the first time in the tournament.

Karolina Muchova loses the final in the end.

Karolina Muchova loses the final in the end.

Image: AP

Muchova was now better in the match, emboldened by increasing failures from her increasingly fickle opponent and successful forays of her own. She led 2-0 in the decisive round, the match gained in quality and was on the razor’s edge because both returned more successfully than served. What was shown on the last ball, Muchova’s double fault, which put an end to everything.

In Paris like nowhere else, she shows that Iga Swiatek has an exceptional position in women’s tennis. Exercising and playing, reading novels and listening to Taylor Swift make up most of Swiatek’s world. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about world affairs out there, as she makes clear at every match and after.

Wearing a blue and yellow ribbon on her tennis cap, she also eloquently expresses her sympathy for Ukraine, which is exposed to Russia’s war of aggression. There is no question that Iga Swiatek is the worthy winner of a tournament in which conflicts between Ukrainian and Russian or Belarusian players boiled up. “In terms of mentality, she is on a different level than all the other players,” Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia praised the Pole after her semi-final defeat.

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