Defending champion and World No.1 Iga Swiatek reached the French Open 2023 final after beating No.14 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 7-6(7) in Thursday's second semifinal on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
On Saturday, she will face unseeded Czech Karolina Muchova, who saved a match point in a stirring three-hour, 13-minute clash to make a comeback against No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka.
Swiatek came the closest to being pushed to the limit against Haddad Maia. She survived a set point in the second set tiebreak, and the eight games she dropped were the most in her six matches this fortnight.
Haddad Maia led the tiebreak 5-3 and had a chance to prolong the match at 6-5 but missed a forehand at the net.
"I'm just pretty happy to be in the final again. It was a tough match, and especially the second set, every point counted. It was stressful in some moments, so I'm happy that I was really solid and I was able to close it in the tiebreaker. It wasn't easy, and Beatriz really played well. I'm just happy," WTA.com quoted Swiatek saying.
"She's really using the fact that she's a lefty. She's really using her spin on the serve. It's just tactically a little bit different. You always have to kind of address and switch most of the things that you do on court because she's a lefty. I just knew that I can really use my power on clay and even make it physical if I need to," Swiatek said.
Talking about her French Open final opponent Karolina Muchova, Swiatek said,"I played many practices with her since 2019, and I also watch her actually more than most of the players. Just a coincidence, but it happened."
"I really like her game, honestly. I really respect her, and she's I feel like a player who can do anything. She has great touch. She can also speed up the game. She plays with that kind of freedom in her movements. And she has a great technique. So I watched her matches and I feel like I know her game pretty well. But obviously, on matches, it's a little bit different and I'll be ready no matter what," she added. (ANI)