Karoline Muchova, the hunter of giantess. After hanging the scalp of Maria Sakkari during the first round of Roland-Garros, the number 43 of the WTA ranking wobbled another member of the top 10: Aryna Sabalenka who lost her semifinal after a long duel of more than three hours.
For the first play, Aryna Sabalenka had shown authority from the outset. In just over two minutes, she was already wrapping it up with a powerful winning serve.
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The longer the exchange lasts, the stronger Muchova is.
But the Czech was not impressed. The two warriors of Court Philippe-Chatrier quickly surrendered blow after blow. If the Belarusian offers two break balls in the fourth game, the Czech resists by forcing long exchanges.
As time passes in the center court, Aryna Sabalenka seems to appear more and more helpless in the face of the game of her opponent: mounted at the net, volleys and backhands lifted ... Karolina Muchova makes her opponent doubt and makes the break at the best time and offers herself the right to serve for the set.
But the world No. 2 has resources. She cleared a set ball and then cancelled the break (5-5). Two games later, the two women have to decide in a tie-break. An exercise where the Czech finally cracks the Belarusian, who loses there her first set of the fortnight after 1 h 09 of fight.
"Karo! Karo! Karo!". After Caroline Garcia's defeat, the French public recycled her songs for the Czech. Opposite, the world number 2 seems sounded. Karolina Muchova took advantage and made a perfect start to the second set: a shutout on her serve, followed by a break.
Sabalenka wins second tie-break
Aryna Sabalenka finally reacted. She makes her power speak to erase the late break and stick to her opponent. It is also she who manages to make the difference in the middle of the round. But, despite the Belarusian blows, the Czech finds the strength to cancel the advantage taken by her opponent (4-4). Inexorably, the two tennis women are heading for a new tie-break. An exercise where this time it is Sabalenka who wins this time.
The world number 2 is delighted by this success. Facing Muchova who seems to accuse the blow physically, she pockets the first serve and offers herself three break balls on that of her opponent. But the Czech is holding firm. Before dropping his next stake (4-2). She thought she had done the hardest but while she had to serve for the match, Muchova still found the strength to make the difference and get back to 5-5. And it is even she who finds herself in a strong position, serving for a place in the final thanks to two double-faults from Sabalenka. She doesn't tremble.
Five months after the Australian Open, Aryna Sabalenka misses the opportunity to offer herself another Grand Slam final. Karolina Muchova can savour: the world 43rd will challenge the winner of the duel Iga Swiatek - Beatriz Haddad Maia on Saturday and should make a giant leap in the WTA rankings anyway.
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